Using and scapegoating our fellow trans citizens is not their only angle.
Someone that I follow about abortion rights, points out that the right knows that Abortion BANS are unpopular. So, they are trying to erase the word ‘ ban’ from the language about abortion. Watch the right – wing. They’re talking about coming to a ‘national abortion consensus’, which is nothing but a national abortion BAN. They are also trying to get the MSM to stop printing and saying abortion ‘ ban’, because they know how unpopular an abortion ‘ BAN’ is.
Then, they know that their laws and policies are having adverse impact on women’s health, and that there has been an increase in Maternal Mortality. So, they are trying to skew the numbers about Maternal Mortality, or, like in Idaho, ban collecting this important women’s health data altogether.
Abortion Is So Popular Republicans Are Inventing Conspiracy Theories to Trick Americans Into Voting Against It
BY CHRISTINA CAUTERUCCI
AUG 21, 20235:50 AM
Abortion bans are unpopular. So unpopular that Republican extremists seem to have to invent conspiracy theories to trick Americans into voting for them.
That’s the major takeaway from recent political battles in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In all three states, abortion-related ballot initiatives and elections were framed by right-wing groups as the only thing standing between parents and “trans ideology” in the classroom.
In Ohio, political ads intoned that malicious entities from out of state were arriving to “encourage sex changes for kids.” In Wisconsin, Republicans distributed a video that claimed a child was “transitioned into a boy by school officials without parental consent.” And in Michigan, millions of dollars went into ads that warned “minors as young as 10 or 11” could be sterilized without “their parents even knowing.”
All would be resolved, the ads assured, if voters just sided with conservatives at the ballot box. But in reality, “parental rights” were not on the ballot in any of these states. Instead, all three votes had enormous implications for access to abortion.
This is the new playbook. Using the specter of child corruption and social contagion, Republicans are attempting to manipulate parents, scapegoat trans and queer people, and erode multiple axes of bodily autonomy, all in one fell swoop. It does not appear to be a particularly effective tactic, as the recent right-wing efforts failed in each of the three states that tried it. But initiatives like Promise to America’s Children, a coalition of far-right groups that has advanced anti-trans legislation in states across the country, are putting money behind these fearmongering tactics. These groups believe that by agitating conservatives and uniting voters against a trans boogeyman, they can get people to ignore their own support for (or indifference to) abortion rights and eagerly line up to give those rights away.
So conservatives knew they wouldn’t be able to thwart the proposed amendment on the merits of their anti-abortion arguments alone. Instead, they scheduled an emergency vote on a ballot initiative—in the dead of August—that would have made it much easier to defeat the abortion rights amendment on procedural grounds. If Issue 1 had passed this month, it would have required 60 percent of voters to approve any amendment to the state constitution, rather than a simple majority.
It didn’t work. Ohioans streamed to the polls—turnout was 38 percent, higher even than any regular primary election since 2016—and voters rejected Issue 1 by a resounding margin of 14 points.
In the aftermath, state Republicans lamented that they hadn’t enough time to get their message out—despite the fact that they were the ones who tried to rush the vote on Issue 1, and despite the millions of dollars that had gone into trying to make voters fear for their children.
In an ad that circulated before the August vote, funded by a right-wing group called Protect Women Ohio, a parent tucks a young girl into bed. “You promised you’d keep the bad guys away. Protect her,” the voice-over says. “Now’s your chance.” Malicious entities from out of state are arriving in sheep’s clothing to “encourage sex changes for kids” and sneak “trans ideology” into schoolrooms, it continues. “Protect your rights as a parent by voting yes on August 8th.”
Pursuing an agenda that leans far further right than what constituents want is nothing new for conservative leaders. Due to a combination of aggressive gerrymandering and strong right-wing activism in Ohio, for example, the state has long been a vanguard of anti-abortion policy in spite of its relatively balanced political makeup and broad support for abortion rights. But lately, on abortion, Republicans have been watching their wins come undone by ballot measures and state constitutional amendments—in other words, by mechanisms that put the power back in the hands of voters.
It’s democracy in action. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, every time abortion rights have been put to a popular vote—anywhere in the country—voters have rejected the anti-abortion ballot measures and approved the ones that codify or expand abortion rights. It’s no surprise that GOP operatives are trying to divert the focus to literally any other issue where they perceive themselves to have the upper hand, though it is horrifying to see that they believe virulent transphobia is a winning enough position that it may convince voters to sign away their access to legal abortion. The only silver lining, in Ohio as in Wisconsin as in Michigan, is that the bait-and-switch doesn’t seem to be working.