Recently, Marco Rubio turned heads when he stood he endorsed the “emergency contraception like the “morning after” pill as an alternative to the usual call for abortion law exceptions. Calvin Freiburger, writing for Live Action, gave Rubio credit for standing his ground on the issue, but pointed out that endorsing the morning after pill has problems of its own, since it can sometimes operate as an abortifacient.
As we know, the morning-after pill is not an alternative to abortion, but it can potentially act as another version of it. Contrary to Rubio’s claim, it doesn’t always “prevent that fertilization from happening,” but can sometimes kill an already-fertilized embryo by blocking his or her implantation:
“Potentially” and “sometimes” cut a few holes in the logic, but Freiburger nonetheless makes an important point that the candidates need to be careful with what kinds of contraception they endorse. He also makes another important observation: Giving ground to the pro-abortion crowd almost never translates into better coverage, so why do it?
And strategically, it doesn’t help these guys anyway. Just consider a sampling of headlines this year:
- “Marco Rubio should scare you: Why his nutty views are no less dangerous than Donald Trump’s” – Gary Legum, Salon
- “Marco Rubio’s Grotesque Vision of Women is an Indictment of Republican Values” – Ben Cohen, Salon
- “Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence” – Amanda Marcotte, Raw Story
- “Media Should Remember: Rand Paul Has A Problem With Women’s Health, Not Just Female Journalists” – Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Media Matters
- “Even Republican and Independent Women Have a Serious Problem with Rand Paul” – Sarah Jones, Politics USA
- “Why Ben Carson Should Scare You Even More Than Donald Trump Does” – Josephine Yurcaba, Bustle
- “The most terrifying thing about GOP abortion politics: Jeb Bush is considered a *moderate*” – Heather Digby Parton, Salon
- “GOP Candidates Reveal Their Terrifying Fantasies About Abortion At First Debate” – Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress
- “John Kasich Hides His Extreme Views On Abortion” – John Amato, Crooks and Liars
I heartily agree with this last. The “moderates” of the party get hammered just as hard as those farther right. It’s a lesson that needs to be pounded into Republicans’ heads early and often that if you’re going to be pro-life, you should be ready for a media attack whether you endorse exceptions or not.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.