Alaska Politician Fights to Get Ms. Magazine Out of His Grocery Store

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.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

115 comments

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.2 years ago

Boy, this guy should be Hitler Jr. Bookburning is coming now that he is saying what is allowed to be read or not. Only what is agreeable to his feeble mind. These anti-choice, anti-women republicans need to crawl back to their caves. I am really dismayed that the repugnicans have changed so much in such a short time. They want to return oppression to the mainstream.

Donna F.
Donna F.2 years ago

ridiculous neo-con politician. I hope he's defeated in his next election.

William Eaves
William Eaves2 years ago

Remove these religious nutters from office. A modern country should not be run by outdated middle eastern superstitions.

Stevie A.
Stevie A.2 years ago

Oohh Janet!!! Touche! And I agree that the “xian right" / WRONG is against anything that could support girls and women who want to “be all they can be"

Amanda M.
Amanda M.2 years ago

Just more proof that these anti-choice whackadoos simply do not like that women now have power over their own bodies and lives! They can't STAND the fact that we're no longer tongueless brood mares they can keep barefoot, pregnant, and under their feet. If they had their way, the clock would be turned back to the days when we not only couldn't decide for OURSELVES when and how many children to have, whether or not we WANTED to marry, but even deny us the right to vote!

Oh wait, they're trying that one out in Texas now. Well, we're not going back without a fight!

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle2 years ago

Not only is the far right waging a war on women, but it appears that they are also opposed to the freedom of speech.

Mary S.
Mary S.2 years ago

I think politicians like him, who do the opposite of what this country stresses to teach their children (like anti-bullying, working together, play nice, etc) are pathetic excuses for leadership and really make me question the most of the region the represent.

ScoTT S.
ScoTT S.2 years ago

And of course, it is those same Republicans who say they are against government interference, but who also have no problem with trying every means of government interference to further their agenda of maintaining feminine inferiority.

ScoTT S.
ScoTT S.2 years ago

Nope, No war on women, say the Republicans. Just a picture of Wendy Davis, a woman politician (OH NO! CAN'T HAVE THAT!) who speaks her mind (OH NO! CAN'T HAVE THAT!) and needs to be suppressed because she disagrees with what a man thinks a woman should think (OH NO! WE CAN'T HAVE THAT!). Then don't buy the magazine, and don't shop in a store that carries magazines that offend you. And if you are a part owner, and you don't like what the business is doing, then just pull out of being a part owner. "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ..." I remember reading that somewhere.

A F.
A F.2 years ago

more insanity