A clearly worried Rachel Maddow commiserated with former congressman Alan Grayson on her MSNBC show Monday about Republican state legislators around the nation imposing a slew of restrictions on abortion over the last year.
Here’s how Maddow described it before speaking with Grayson —
Today in an anti-abortion march in Washington (to mark anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision), the anti-abortion movement was treated to a speech from the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who said he is working to overturn the Roe versus Wade decision. It has been a breathtaking year of watching abortion rights disappear in the United States. There have been more rollbacks of abortion rights since the 2010 elections than in any time since Roe versus Wade was passed 39 years ago.
And this massive, coordinated offensive against abortion rights by the Republicans has frankly been aided by the fact that while Republicans love to campaign on this issue, Democrats don’t love to campaign on this issue. Being pro-choice is not a litmus test for the Democratic Party the way that being pro-life is for the Republican Party. There are lots of elected Democrats who are opposed to abortion rights. But even Democrats who are not opposed to abortion rights have not been very willing to stand up and say that, much less to campaign on being pro-choice.
Translation — even pro-abortion Democrats aren’t comfortable proclaiming their support for abortion. As if doing so is somehow — could it be? — shameful.
Maddow’s guest, former Florida congressman Alan Grayson, reminiscent as usual of the doorman at a Depression-era speakeasy, was similarly concerned about this inexplicable queasiness among fellow Democrats for ending human life in utero —
MADDOW: Obviously the anniversary of Roe versus Wade was this weekend. There’s always a big anti-abortion rights march around that time. There’s always a lot of promises and sort of crowing from the anti-abortion movement. But we really have seen a remarkable year and in a remarkable year of restricting abortion rights, Florida stands out. I mean, to have 18 different pieces of anti-abortion legislation including five new anti-abortion restrictions passing in the state. What accounts for that taking the forefront of the Republican agenda, even as it popped up and was popular everywhere, Florida really seems to have gone, sort of gone nuts.
GRAYSON: I think it’s because Democrats here in Florida, there are some, for some reason are reluctant to make the case for pro-choice. I think that’s what it comes down to. I have no trouble telling people that I think the most fundamental right is the right to control your own body. But I hear very few other Democrats saying anything like that. So we’ve basically left the playing field and I think that’s a shame.
Of course, the fundamental right to control one’s body is preceded by the “most” fundamental right — to life itself. Notice how Grayson — even him — couldn’t bring himself to utter the word “abortion.” It does, after all, exude such finality.
LifeNews Note: Jack Coleman is a recovering former liberal journalist from Massachusetts. This originally appeared at Newsbusters.