The so-called war on abortion has taken some pretty ridiculous twists and turns as anti-choice advocates seek out new outlets to pressure for being too “supportive” of reproductive rights. We’ve watched hospitals be targeted for allowing doctors who work at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at their facilities, colleges chastised for allowing “pro-abortion” speakers onto campus (yes, even if that speaker is the President of the United States), even the Girl Scouts are being pressured over their non-existent support of abortion rights. Now, one politician is taking the battle to his local co-op. Because after all, he “owns” the place and he’s not happy with an “extremely liberal magazine promoting killing babies.”
That extremist publication is, of course, Ms. Magazine.
The issue, according to reporter Lindsay O’Brien, apparently arose when a Fairbanks, Ala., Assembly member became angry when he realized his local grocery co-op was stocking Ms. Magazine at its counter. Lance Roberts, the politician, decided that as a member of the co-op, allowing the magazine on the shelves meant that his membership dollars somehow were tainted with the blood of fetuses and embryos terminated, because there was an article about Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis on the cover.
“In October, I was at the Co-op Market and saw that they were carrying an extremely liberal magazine promoting killing babies. … I asked the manager at that meeting specifically that if they were going to carry them in the future to let me know so I could remove my membership,” wrote Roberts in a newsletter, reports FAPNYS. ”There’s a huge difference between having to shop at a store that carries genocide-promoting stuff and being an owner of it.”
“Owner” is a pretty loose term, especially as co-ops tend to be multi-membered, board-based, consensus-driven businesses in general. In essence, he was as much supporting abortion as the extreme wing of the religious right who believe that by paying their taxes they have the right to decide whether or not people paying for private insurance plans should be able to have coverage that pays for abortion.
The co-op seemed pretty unimpressed by his threats as well. Although Roberts claims the store reached out to him and promised they would no longer carry “those extreme magazines anymore,” the market says that’s not true, the magazine is back on the shelves now that a new issue is out, and that they are expecting the full lot to sell out.
Alaskan progressives find Roberts’ fight against “extremist” viewpoints perplexing, especially as the politician has a history of his own extremist viewpoints to answer for. A commenter at Alaska Mudflats notes an interview in the Alaska Dispatch, where he touts his support of Dominionist R.J. Rushdoony, who believe that the country should be run under the precepts of Biblical law. Yes, even including death penalties for homosexual sex. “I have no problem quoting a Christian like him, as I am a Christian and won’t be apologizing for being one,” he told the Dispatch in April of 2013 after being question about whether he supported Rushdoony’s extremist believes.
Seeing Wendy Davis’s face on a magazine cover may have simply been the facade used for demanding the store get rid of a magazine that many conservatives have despised since it launched in the 70′s. If so, Roberts is just the latest to use the famous Texas Democrat as the excuse to invoke a boycott. A number of social conservative organizations launched into a full scale assault on the Girl Scouts earlier this year after claiming the organization was trying to support Wendy Davis after the Girl Scouts of the USA Twitter feed tweeted a link to a Huffington Post article that mentioned her, as well as other women to consider as potential women of the year for 2013. That latest boycott has now been going on for months.
It’s clear from both the Girl Scouts issue and the attempt to oust Ms. that for a subset of the right, it’s not even really about abortion, but about anything that helps women and girls grow personally and become more than just traditional gender stereotypes. Luckily, most of the country can recognize exactly how absurd these actions really are.
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