The Chardonnay Antifa Abortion Freakout
The pro-abortion left is worried you're about to learn the truth
This weekend saw pro-abortion protesters harassing Supreme Court justices, and their neighbors, with protests that ventured into the neighborhoods around Washington, D.C. Justice Samuel Alito and his family were reportedly moved to an undisclosed location for their protection, and Governors Glenn Youngkin and Larry Hogan have stepped into the gap left by the feds in providing security support.
Thankfully, the crowds dispersed when police showed up. But across the country, churches saw the increased presence of protests and harassment — and it’s not like there’s enough manpower to protect every hall of worship. As for targeting activists, in Wisconsin the Madison pro-life headquarters was hit by a Molotov cocktail. This has all the signs of the early stages of a violent turn for Chardonnay Antifa.
It’s not hard to understand why these protesters feel so fearful. For fifty years since the decision that short-circuited the democratic process by imposing a national standard, the media narrative was that overturning Roe meant chaos and theocracy. ABC, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, NPR, everything produced by Hollywood and every major media entity spouted essentially the same line: that Roe was a line in the sand, and to cross it meant Handmaids and medievalism and deaths in back alleys. Until just five seconds ago, CBS had their abortion coverage led by someone who just took a job as news director for Planned Parenthood. Yesterday she told Brian Stelter why this was fine:
The truth, of course, is that these people were all lying all along. The post-Roe environment is not a theocratic hellscape, unless that’s what you believe America was until 1972. Instead, it will be a scenario where the moderate views on the abortion question are far more likely to receive a hearing. The polling on this subject over the years has been particularly skewed by the framing of questions — but it’s clear that the definition of “mostly illegal/mostly legal” is in need of adjudication, and that will happen via the state legislatures and constitutional processes all across the country.
Perhaps it’s unreasonable, but there are signs Americans ought to be hopeful about what’s coming next. Certain factors make post-Roe state compromises on abortion easier than you might expect, in part because the status quo — established by decades of monolithic media massaging that warped the terms of debate and deliberately created a false overarching narrative — is, to put it lightly, bullshit.
Take just one example: In the real world, when people say “I’m pro-choice,” they mean they are definitely for abortion for the worst cases, and probably for some defined stretch of early pregnancy. But in Washington, D.C., the same term defines the most radical absolutist position in American politics: abortion on demand at any stage for any reason and funded by taxpayer dollars. They don’t even have the equivalent of a “shouting fire in a crowded theater” exception. No one outside of the extremist abortion left holds that position in good faith and with a settled conscience.
When the time comes, if Roe is truly eradicated, you’ll see California and New York and several other states pass defiant radical laws — if there’s even room to go more radical — and boost abortion in their states. That will be easy. And on the other side, Mississippi and Oklahoma and a few other pro-life states will do their thing just as easily.
For the vast majority of states who will seek a policy somewhere in the middle, the parameters of debate are already set. Questions include how far along abortion will be allowed, what reasons it ought to be restricted (such as sex-selection), whether it should be paired with some open handed pro-life gestures to family support or adoption, and/or some hard-fisted approaches on clinic regulation. Understand this, and you see the framework of the legislative deal-making that will follow.
Consider the fact that today, we have more trifectas — states where the Governor, Senate, and House are all possessed by the same political party — than have existed in America in thirty years. With a total of 37 trifectas across the country, this will largely be an internal party debate about how far Democrats and Republicans in the states want to push the issue. In divided governments, one perfectly legitimate way of seeing where this ends up is to offer multiple versions of the same amendment. Do you limit abortions to 24 weeks? 23? 22? 21? You keep going until you start losing too many votes.
When the pro-abortion left says this will be chaos, what they mean is people like them — out of touch cultural elites for whom this issue is far, far more important than inflation and prices at the pump — will be really, really angry. (These people are all on Twitter.) But most pro-life Republican legislators will happily agree to exceptions for rape and incest, set a limitation bar around the end of the first trimester, and try to work backwards from there.
The left knows this, at least the smarter ones do, which is a big part of why the White House and others immediately shifted to crazy slippery slope arguments about banning condoms, the pill, and interracial marriage. The pro-abortion left and the media (but I repeat myself) obfuscated their position and Roe’s reality, seeding a narrative in which “post-Roe” equals theocratic extremism. Pro-lifers couldn't prove the lie of the theocracy claim while Roe was in force. Once Roe is gone, it will be all the more clear which side is open handed, and which is activated by extremist rage based on lies.
For 49 years the left only had to defend the national Roe regime to five elite lawyers, all in their own cultural tribe. Now, for the first time, they have to defend abortion maximalism to ordinary Americans and their elected representatives. Have fun storming that castle.
The Transom is a reader-supported publication. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber.