One of the most nauseating moments of the 2016 presidential cycle was when the religious right remained firmly behind Donald Trump even after the release of the Access Hollywood tape. They tried to convince us that it really didn’t matter that Trump openly boasted that he could degrade women–even “grab ’em by the pussy”‘–because he was a celebrity. No, no. All that really mattered to them was that he opposed abortion and marriage equality.
That point was driven home–and bigly–last weekend, when Operation Rescue named Trump its “Pro-Life Person of the Year.” The rabid anti-abortion group made the announcement on Twitter just as the nation ended the last business day of the year.
— Operation Rescue (@operationrescue) December 29, 2017
Trump was awarded Operation Rescue’s “Malachi Award,” given to “individuals who sacrificially work to advance the cause of protecting the pre-born.” According to Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, Trump more than earned that award for being, in Newman’s words, “the most pro-life president we have had in modern history.”
Among other things, Operation Rescue touts the appointment of “conservative, pro-life” Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and investigate its supposed “illegal baby parts trafficking scheme,” and putting “pro-life people” in his administration in “places where they can do the most good.” Trump also supports a ban on all abortions after 20 weeks.
It says a lot about Operation Rescue that it was able to look past Trump’s appalling treatment of the people of Puerto Rico, including unsanitary conditions that may result in babies and pregnant mothers dying. But then again, Operation Rescue’s standards haven’t been that high to begin with. After all, it hired Cheryl Sullenger even after she pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a clinic, and kept her on the payroll after she admitted giving information about George Tiller’s court dates to the man who killed Tiller, Scott Roeder.
Along with virtually all of the “mainstream” anti-abortion movement, it maintained support for Roy Moore even after he was credibly accused of molesting women and pursuing girls young enough to be his daughters. Indeed, Newman mused the whole thing was nothing more than “dirty politics” directed at a man with “staunch conservative Christian values.” Hmmm–does Newman still stand by that assessment in light of Breitbart’s Alex Marlow admitting that he believed that at least one accuser sounded credible?
But then again, it shouldn’t come as a great shock that Operation Rescue stood behind Trump. After all, when the Access Hollywood tape came out, Operation Rescue slammed it as a “gutter-level” attack on Trump. It then went on to call Planned Parenthood “perhaps the largest abuser of women in the U. S.” Under the circumstances, this award seems to be a reward for favors being returned.
So for the second time in two years, Operation Rescue was willing to throw victims of sexual assault under the bus in order to elect a candidate who made clucking noises they like. This mentality is why they’re lying when they call themselves “pro-life.” They’re really for forced birth. And it’s also a reminder why I left that movement.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)