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Tea Party on Abortion

 


Disdained narrow exemptions for churches on birth control

Rubio declared, "The federal government does not have the power to force religious organizations to pay for things that that organization doesn't believe in."

The insurance requirement, part of the sweeping Affordable Care Act that had earned Obama such disdain among tea partiers, allowed narrow exemptions for churches but not other faith-based organizations such as universities or hospitals. Many states have similar laws, and the vast majority of health plans cover birth control. But the issue became a furious election-year fight, and Rubio its most high-profile combatant. "This is not about women's rights or contraception; this is about the religious liberties that our country has always cherished." "At the end of the day, it's about the fact that now the federal government has the power to force a religion to pay for something the religion teaches is wrong." Rubio's legislation, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, would expand exemptions for faith-based organizations.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.177-178 , Jun 19, 2012

Regulate abortion clinics more; oppose right to abortion

[One group of VA] Tea Partiers were visibly elated when one woman brought up a just-enacted Virginia law that requires abortion clinics to operate as if they were full-fledged hospitals. The law may force the closure of up to 2/3 of these clinics, which offer an array of reproductive services to a largely poor and minority clientele, because the facilities are small, under-funded operations that cannot afford to widen hallways and hire additional staff. To the same group that had just decried rules for businesses, death-by-pettifogging regulation for women's health clinics sounded just fine, indeed morally necessary.

Tea Party support for regulation of childbearing is certainly not limited to [that one VA group]. Whereas a 58% majority of all Americans approve of the decision of the Supreme Court to establish a "Constitutional right for women to obtain legal abortions in this country," only 40% of Tea Partiers approve of that court decision and 53% consider it a "bad thing."

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, by T.Skocpol, p. 58 , Jan 2, 2012

Regulate abortion clinics more; oppose right to abortion

businesses, death-by-pettifogging regulation for women's health clinics sounded just fine, indeed morally necessary.

Tea Party support for regulation of childbearing is certainly not limited to [that one VA group]. Whereas a 58% majority of all Americans approve of the decision of the Supreme Court to establish a "Constitutional right for women to obtain legal abortions in this country," only 40% of Tea Partiers approve of that court decision and 53% consider it a "bad thing."

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, by T.Skocpol, p. 58 , Jan 2, 2012

Moral opposition to abortion, but not a focal issue

Social issues were beside the point for the Tea Party. In the April 2010 CBS News/New York Times poll, only 14% of Tea Party supporters said social issues were more important to them than economic issues.

One Virginia leader sent us a message the morning after we witnessed a Tea Party meeting in which strong views were expressed on pro-life issues. She wrote, "Tea Party organizations typically do not take a position on social issues such as abortion and gay rights. The conservatism that unites us is governmental and fiscal, not social. While it is rare to have discussion of social issues come up at our meetings, it will on occasion."

Actually, in our observation, it is not so rare for socially conservative moral arguments to come up in Tea Party meetings. In practice, social conservatives make up a vocal majority of many Tea Parties.

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, p. 37 , Jan 2, 2012

Strategically silent on social issues to preserve unity

The Tea Party is not a movement of the wealthy, or even of the Southern and the religious, whom Kunstler derides. Instead, the movement boasts a significant number of Democrats, has won a substantial following in traditionally left-leaning northern states like Oregon and Massachusetts, and, surprisingly, is a movement of women more than men. As of mid-2010, most of its board members were women, most of its state coordinators were women, most of its audiences were women, and its two brightest stars were Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Sarah Palin of Alaska. Moreover, rather than reflecting the values of the once powerful religious Right, the movement has been strategically silent on matters of abortion and homosexuality in hopes of preserving unity around its central theme of fiscal responsibility. Clearly, there is a realignment occurring in American politics.
Source: The Faith of Sarah Palin, by Stephen Mansfield, p. 5-6 , Sep 21, 2010

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Page last updated: Jul 07, 2014