MSNBC Opinion Writer Compares Pro-Life Lawmakers to the Taliban

Posted: Aug 23, 2021 12:00 PM
MSNBC Opinion Writer Compares Pro-Life Lawmakers to the Taliban

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Last week, in the midst of President Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, MSNBC opinion columnist Dean Obeidallah penned an article comparing the GOP to the Taliban for threatening “the safety and security” of America’s women and hindering “[t]he ability of women to control their own bodies.”

“The Taliban aren't the only ones trying to impose their will on women's bodies and choices,” the teaser reads.

In the article, Obeidallah fired shots at several members of the GOP, including Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Members of Congress Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). He argues that the GOP “voicing their deep concern over the rights of the women of Afghanistan” is insincere based on the voting records of these lawmakers for failing to“protect women.” As I previously reported, the Republicans have shown much more concern than their Democratic counterparts for women in Afghanistan.

“If the GOP wants to show that it is sincerely concerned with the rights of the women in Afghanistan, it can start by first championing the human rights of women in the U.S,” Obeidallah stated in the article. “But instead, it is doing all it can to prevent gender equality while oppressing women based on its members’ extreme religious beliefs. Sound familiar?”

Specific examples Obeidallah provided that purportedly show parallels between the Republican party and the Taliban surround the issues of abortion, the reauthorization of the “Violence Against Women Act,” and the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

First off, Obeidallah recalled the law passed in Arkansas this past March by pro-life Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), effectively banning abortion in all circumstances except to save the mother’s life. The law also makes it a felony to help a woman obtain an abortion. Obeidallah noted that Hutchinson’s religious beliefs were the driving force behind the legistlation, given his “sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.” A federal judge has since blocked the law’s implementation in the state.

Obeidallah piled on, noting how McCarthy, Chabot, and Stefanik all voted against the “Paycheck Fairness Act” and the reauthorization of the “Violence Against Women Act.” “The GOP’s opposition to this is a blow to gender equality,” he stated in the article.

But after all that, he still acknowledges that the two don’t compare to each other. “Look, nobody is saying the GOP and the Taliban are equally bad. But in just the past few months, we’ve seen Republicans champion measures to deprive women of freedom over their own bodies, as well as oppose laws to protect women from violence and ensure that women are paid the same wages as men. And they’ve done so, at least in part, to impose their religious beliefs on all others,” Obeidallah states in the article.

Following the release of the article, pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List issued a statement in response. 

“MSNBC does the nation a great disservice in allowing this piece to run, which exploits Afghan women, ignores their values, and smears pro-life Republicans who are fighting every day in Congress to defend the lives of American women and their unborn babies from the extreme agenda of the abortion lobby,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “America is one in seven nations that allow abortion on demand for any reason up to birth, we’re in the company of China & North Korea. Pro-life lawmakers are to be commended for their courage in challenging this extreme status quo – and they should be emboldened by the truth that the majority of Americans are on their side, eager to humanize our laws.”

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