US anti-abortion groups shift focus to voting restrictions | US voting rights

In the months since Donald Trump lost his re-election bid, conservative groups traditionally focused on lobbying against abortion and LGBTQ + rights have supported new election restrictions and given them significant grassroots power and money to vote make more difficult.

The increasing attention to elections came from unexpected corners, such as the Susan B. Anthony List, which traditionally has a unique focus on restricting access to abortion.

The group announced plans to spend millions on a joint “electoral transparency initiative” with the American Principles Project that until recently focused on restricting transsexuals’ participation in sports. Efforts are aimed at thwarting national voting laws proposed by the Washington DC Democrats and mobilizing state lawmakers and volunteers.

“I’m not ready to say anything that President Trump kicked out after the election was right, but it has motivated people who have been honestly difficult to motivate over the past few years,” said Ken Cuccinelli, a former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security for the Trump administration tapped to guide efforts. “This is my own experience on the subject,” he added.

Members of the organization “asked” to be involved in electoral issues “as a prerequisite for advocating the pro-life plea for further restrictions on abortion rights,” Cuccinelli said in an interview.

The linchpin for the right to vote comes after the same groups committed tens of millions of dollars to support Trump’s 2020 campaign, which was defined by almost daily claims that there was widespread voter fraud. The Susan B. Anthony List spent $ 52 million in support of the former president, making this the most expensive campaign in the organization’s history.

Now their full support has left the groups in a bind. Some small dollar funders believe there has been widespread fraud and are unsure why they should donate to an election effort if the process is rigged.

“We hear from another group of members who say, ‘I don’t know if I should go into this any more. It’s a rigged system, ‘”said Cuccinelli. “That’s her perspective, whether she’s right or not – ‘If that isn’t fixed, I don’t know if I really want to stay engaged.'”

There is no evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing in the 2020 election, and courts have repeatedly denied such claims by Trump and allies. Nonetheless, experts said support for restricting the right to vote and the rights of LGBTQ + people correlated strongly with believing that the election was fraudulent.

“The big lie of a stolen election that [Trump] urged, and its supporters urged, which led to the insurrection … has penetrated religious communities, “said Andrew Whitehead, associate professor of sociology at Indiana University and the most recent author of Take Back America for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States.

“There is a real distrust of the election, election fraud and the question of whether Biden is a legitimate president.” He added, “I don’t see this genie put back in the bottle.”

Anti-abortion groups, in turn, are beginning to view electoral circumcision as essential to achieving their goals. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement that the group’s ability to vote for pro-life candidates depends on a “transparent, fair electoral process.”

“The integrity of our electoral system was severely compromised in 2020 when abortion Democrats – who used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse – weakened state laws that ensure free and fair elections,” she said in a statement.

Conservative support for anti-election laws comes with substantial financial support. The political arm of the Heritage Foundation, the influential conservative group that has long supported electoral restrictions, recently announced it would spend $ 10 million to enforce the electoral restrictions.

FreedomWorks, the group that helped spread the Tea Party movement, has its own $ 10 million initiative led by Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who phoned Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in the fall of Trump Raffensperger urged election results in Georgia.

Protesters protest election restrictions on March 4th in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Dustin Chambers / Reuters

The Family Research Council, which, according to the New York Times, recently advocated the topic during a town hall, joins the effort. “Actions are being taken to go back and correct what was exposed in this last election,” said Tony Perkins, the group’s chairman. The group is identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which it describes as specializing in “defamation of LGBTQ people”.

All of these groups have also set out to pressure individual US senators, who are viewed as alternating votes, not to support the democratic push for expanded voting rights. They held a rally in West Virginia against centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, the New Yorker said.

Many of the most ardent proponents of abortion bans are also campaigning for anti-suffrage laws in countries like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas – three states that have emerged at the forefront of extensive efforts in the US to make it harder to vote.

In Arizona, Republican lawmaker Walter Blackman introduced an abortion ban law at that session that would have charged women and doctors with first degree murder. The crime carries the death penalty in Arizona. Blackman, who tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, has also either sponsored or co-sponsored four bills that the Brennan Center for Justice said would restrict voting in Arizona. Black man tweeted in November, he wanted to prevent Arizona from becoming another “third world country when it comes to elections”.

In Texas, Republican MP Briscoe Cain wrote a Texan version of the Heartbeat Bill in 2019, another six-week abortion ban. Cain also drafted a comprehensive bill with new voting restrictions banning officials from sending postal votes to qualifying voters and giving election observers more power, which could create more opportunities to intimidate voters. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said the move would “make voting on a new set of extreme criminal penalties potentially dangerous”.

Grassroots agitators, once considered too extreme to seriously consider but gained prominence during the Trump administration, have also helped spread electoral conspiracy theories to justify restrictions on the right to vote.

Ohio-based anti-abortion extremist who penned the first six-week abortion ban, Janet Porter, advanced fraudulent conspiracy theories before Trump lost his re-election bid.

“These are the machines that are directly connected to George Soros. It’s a very, very big problem, ”Porter said on an evangelical television show in late November 2020. The show now includes a YouTube disclaimer about election misinformation.

Doubling the big lie, however, is not without its risks. Anti-electoral laws threaten to undo the gains Trump made with black and Latin American voters, which are disproportionately harmed by anti-electoral laws.

“The Republican Party and Christian Right have invested tremendously in minority recruitment,” said Fred Clarkson, religious rights expert and researcher at Political Research Associates. “This is an underrated part of the strategy.

“It seems, in some ways, to contradict voting suppression laws that would clearly disproportionately affect poor and colored people,” said Clarkson.

Whitehead, the sociologist, said he believed Trump’s anti-election campaign will be a defining feature of the future of religious rights lobbying: “It has had a tremendous impact and I think it will last for decades.”

The main picture of this article was changed on April 27, 2021 for editorial reasons.

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