Netflix recently released the documentary Reversing Roe. Reversing Roe explores the history of abortion law in the United States and the tenuous state of legal abortions.
The documentary shows that being “pro-life” was not always a must for Republican candidates. For example, prior to Regan’s presidency, he passed one of the most progressive laws on abortion. However, upon campaigning for his presidency, Regan changed his tune to speak to the Evangelical base.
After Roe v Wade, abortion became a highly politicized topic for Evangelical Christians. This in turn made abortion a critical issue for Republican candidates, as securing the Evangelical base could be the difference between winning or losing an election. As Republican legislators became committed to “pro-life” tenets, more restrictive laws on abortion were enacted.
As restrictive abortion laws were struck down, the pro-life movement began supporting the appointment of “pro-life” judges. Hoping that with enough “pro-life” judges, restrictive laws would be affirmed. A “pro-life” lobbyist stated in the documentary that they were trying to ban abortion altogether through the cumulative impact of small changes to the law. Essentially taking the approach of a thousand paper cuts.
The documentary points to a grim future for the legality of abortions. It is pointed out that many years before Trump’s presidency, he can be seen saying on television that he is “pro-choice”. However, during his campaign for the presidency he promise to appoint a “pro-life” judge to the Supreme Court. Making the appointment of the next Supreme Court judge critical to the legality of abortion in the United States.
(Views are my own and do not represent the views of any organization.)