Why Republicans care about abortion

A follow-up

Steve Genco
3 min readMay 3, 2022

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On February 14, I published an article here on Medium titled “What Happens When the Supreme Court Tries to Send American Women Back to the 1950s?” I suggested that the new 5-member radical-right majority in that body would wreak havoc with Americans’ rights and freedoms, simply because that’s what they were put there to do.

Today, America woke up (ironic pun intended) to the first tangible evidence that this is exactly where they are headed. If you are concerned about what happens now, and perhaps more importantly, about what happens next, and perhaps most importantly of all, how this Court and its upcoming decisions will impact the Republicans’ plans to take over Congress in November, you might find that review helpful (and maybe even a little hopeful).

In the meantime, I wanted to connect today’s news to my previously reported analysis of the 2020 American National Election Study, in which I examined the drivers of Trump voting in his failed reelection bid. There I found evidence of overwhelming “deplorable” values in the Trump electorate, including racism, anti-immigrant and anti-minority sentiment, anti-equality sentiment, anti-science and anti-expert sentiment, nativism, misogyny, and lack of empathy for disadvantaged groups.

Why, given this full-spectrum panel of hateful and fearful values, do Republicans care so much about abortion? Lets’s strip away the hypocrisy.

The Republican Party’s go-to rationale for wanting to ban abortion is all about the sanctity of life. Framing the case as “banning murder” is a great recruiting message, with the added benefit of making followers extremely angry and willing to see their opponents as not quite human.

But if the GOP really cared about the sanctity of life, they would prioritize it over their fetishization of guns, which caused over 45,000 deaths in America in 2020. They do not.

Or they would support social welfare programs like food stamps for hungry children and subsidized child care for low-income families. They do not.

Perhaps the best illustration of their hypocrisy regarding “sanctity of life” is Republicans’ opposition to prenatal healthcare benefits for the very women they want to force into unwanted or unsafe pregnancies.

That Republicans are hypocrites on abortion is easy for any seventh-grader to see. The interesting question is why this is such a

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Steve Genco

Steve is author of Intuitive Marketing (2019) & Neuromarketing for Dummies (2013). He holds a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.