Are Anti-Choice Coalitions Starting To Break Up?

It’s a new and disturbing theme when it comes to a women’s right to choose.† Suddenly, anti-abortion positions that were once considered somewhat reasonable — like exceptions in the case of rape, or saving a mother’s life, are now a sign of not being “pro-life” enough.† Allowing a rape victim to end an unwanted pregnancy used to be considered one of the few humane situations for an abortion, but now it’s seen as “punishing the baby for the sins of the father.”† Aborting a fetus to save a mother’s health and future fertility used to be a reasonable assumption, and now the idea of aborting a tubal pregnancy is unheard of in the Right to Life circle unless the fetus has ruptured a tube and put the mother’s life in immediate danger.

Over the last year or two, the anti-abortion position has become more and more extreme, yet it still wasn’t enough to cause a schism between anti-choice groups. Until now.

The New York Times reports on the drawn out feud between Ohio Right to Life and a Ohio ProLife Action, a splinter anti-abortion group formed by Janet Porter and her “heartbeat ban” supporters.† As Ohio Right to Life refused to endorse or support the bill that would make abortion illegal from the moment a heartbeat is detected — about 4 weeks post conception — those who believed that the original Ohio anti-choice group was too timid moved off to start their own sect, as well as apply ample pressure to lawmakers to finally get a bill up for a vote in the senate.

Ohio Right to Life, fearing that the “heartbeat” ban would simply result in a costly court case that would in the end strengthen, not overturn Roe V. Wade, has refused to use their own clout to push the bill for a vote, focusing instead on the state’s 20 week abortion ban.† But ProLife Action, with the support of numerous presidential candidates, has fundraised hard enough to show their own strength, airing a targeted television commercial to garner public support to pressure the legislature into ending their stall on the bill.

The bill, which has already passed the state house, will now be voted on by the senate this week, and is expected to pass.† That will leave the Ohio governor, also an abortion opponent, with the task of deciding whether or not to sign the bill into law, knowing full well that it will go straight to the courts for costly legal defense.

But Ohio isn’t the only state showing a collapse behind the unified front of anti-abortion groups.† Wisconsin is also beginning to splinter, in their case over a proposed push to define life at the moment an egg is fertilized.† undaunted by the failure in Mississippi last month, Pro-Life Wisconsin is fighting for an amendment to declare “personhood” at the moment of conception.† But Wisconsin Right to Life is not enthusiastic about the idea at all.† “‘The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with the personhood issue 23 times in various pieces of legislation regarding abortion, and every time they have rejected the notion of the personhood approach,’ [Sue Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life] said. ‘That would leave us with a constitutional amendment that has no teeth in it whatsoever. The real solution is that we would have a president who is going to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe vs. Wade. Thatís what we have to concentrate on; (the proposed amendment) isnít the right approach.’Ē

While anti-choice groups splinter over whether or not they can truly go too far when it comes to restricting abortion and giving rights to embryos and fetuses that supersede those of the women carrying them, state and national candidates sadly will continue to pander to them, simply encouraging their quest to make the extreme mainstream.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Say the pro-life woman is bipolar enough to get SSDI. Should she adopt a baby from an abortioner if she can't even hold a job?

Would you let a mentally ill woman babysit your kid?

Don't think so.

Tom Y.
Tom Y5 years ago

Hey, DEBORAH L., there's still a huge issue of personal responsibility you have to deal with! And you can't offload it onto third parties just because their opinions don't align with yours.

No abortion can be truly acceptable; they're simply rated by their expediency. Most abortions are post-hoc birth control, and murders for convenience. There are Pro-Life women who'd gladly donate their bodies to nurture the babies who'd otherwise be cast off. But since the ability to make it happen is lacking, they're advocating for the abortionist's intended victim instead.

And if a Pro-Life group is "splintering"... good -- it means there are two abortion opponents where there had been one. May they both succeed in recruiting heavily!

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

The right to life women would insist they keep their legs crossed/closed and don't deserve to suffer for women who by and large, minus a small percentage of rape and incest victims (1.5%), chose to have sex either planning a healthy baby or carelessly/recklessly. And insist the babies are always innocent.

Heard a woman say "you make your choice when you do [sex]." I can agree with that 98% of the time.

Jean S.
Jean S5 years ago

Care2 does not allow me to send a star or say I agree (as both Alternet and the NY Times do, so I must send my star by copying Deborah's comment which is excellent! Brava! Thank you, Deborah!
She wrote: "I will be happy the day medical science perfects the transplanting of all unwanted fetuses into the uterus's of all the right to lifers who want to deny women their right to choose what is best for them.

Until that day, all babies born from a forced pregnancy when the woman is denied an abortion shall be adopted by a right to lifer who helped to interfere and caused this unwanted child to be born. It will belong to them for the rest of the child they coerced into this world and no exceptions, they have to adopt them and raise them as their own biological children. Bet they will sing a different song if this were to happen."

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

I hope they break into itty bitty little pieces we can flush away.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

Imagine the break a Death Row inmate would have having the sentence commuted to nine months in prison. Radical, out of line? The pre-born is the Death Row inmate and the woman is serving the nine month sentence. Ask an inmate which (s)he would prefer. Nine months is nothing compared to the sentence of death.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

While anti-choice groups splinter over whether or not they can truly go too far when it comes to restricting abortion and giving rights to embryos and fetuses that supersede those of the women carrying them

It is the reverse that is true. A woman's right to nine months of her life is more important than some unborn's entire life in the sunshine and fresh air. Disproportionate weight is given to the woman, not the unborn.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

Right to lifers do not need to control the world. God will control the world when He gets back (Jesus). Imagine that, worldwide theocracy, it would scare non-Christians but I don't think they will be here to suffer it.

Deanna J.
Deanna J5 years ago

@ Ron B.

Good sir, I believe you win something for your comment. Possibly the entire internet.

Every time I read these Anti-Choice group articles, I have to wonder if there are really real people that believe that a woman who was raped should have to carry her rapists child. I mean...really? Really?

Maybe mental health institutes have allowed patients to begin to use the Internet? Or make signs or something?

Actually, no, I take that back, there are people with mental health issues who are far more balanced and function much better in society than the people I am imagining that are the ones supporting "carry your rapists baby reform".