Razib Khan reminds everyone that conservatism and the pro-life movement have not always been bound up together:

Remember that Ronald Reagan signed a bill which loosened abortion laws in California in the late 1960s. George H. W. Bush had supported abortion rights until 1980, and his father had close ties to Planned Parenthood...the “Culture Wars” which we see around us today may seem clear, distinct, and natural, but their shape was far different even a generation back. The flip side of this is that many atheists can not understand how one could be pro-life and atheist, but I would offer that to a great extent this too is an expression of the evolution of a group identity and coalitional politics.

Many of us who were part of the conservative movement were very sympathetic to the reminders of the horror of mass abortion, but did not see it as a core, defining principle for the right. As the logic of Christianism gained ground, however, criminalizing all abortion became a dogma that was not even diluted by appeals to federalism. That's why religious truth can distort politics - because it is never subject to debate or compromise. Not a new thing in human history, but part of the GOP's problem.

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