New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has become a touchstone of sorts for the direction of moderate conservatism, if it exists at all, in the Republican party. So the fact that he refuses to say whether he supports the Mississippi ballot initiative that seeks to declare a fertilized egg a “person” should either be a very good, or a very bad thing.
Mississippi GOP gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant endorsed the measure, and Christie is campaigning for Bryant. But Christie’s team has been quick to point out that just because the outspoken governor is campaigning on behalf of Bryant doesn’t mean that Christie endorses the measure.
If that sounds politically squishy to you, consider the fact that Christie was originally an abortion rights supporter who has since changed his mind.
Ultimately, does it really matter if Christie supports the Mississippi personhood measure. You bet it does. If Christie is considered a “moderate” Republican and is unwilling to come out on record against a measure that grants the equivalent legal status to a collection of cells as a living-breathing woman, just how moderate can any part of the Republican party be?
There is no question that if passed the Mississippi initiative would outlaw birth control. Is it a part of the moderate conservative movement to insert the government into the doctor-patient relationship? Is it a part of the moderate conservative movement to suggest that women do not have the ability to make decisions about when to become mothers or to seek informed medical care to make that a meaningful choice?
The answer to those questions is telling: either fully repressing women’s health care freedom is indeed part of the moderate conservative movement or Christie is no moderate.
Photo from yoshiffles via flickr.