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How Texas' powerful but fractured abortion opposition helped bring down Roe v. Wade

May 13, 2022 View Original Article
  • Bias Rating

    50% Medium Conservative

  • Reliability

    N/AN/A

  • Policy Leaning

    100% Extremely Conservative

  • Politician Portrayal

    38% Negative

Bias Score Analysis

The A.I. bias rating includes policy and politician portrayal leanings based on the author’s tone found in the article using machine learning. Bias scores are on a scale of -100% to 100% with higher negative scores being more liberal and higher positive scores being more conservative, and 0% being neutral.

Sentiments

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Bias Meter

Contributing sentiments towards policy:

59% : Alternatives to Abortion channels money to a far-flung network of nonprofits -- many of them ardently anti-abortion -- to pay for counseling, classes and baby items for pregnant women and mothers of young children.
55% : This culminates a lifetime of work for those who have been on the battle lines over abortion for decades -- and opens a whole new world of potential advocacy.
54% : A majority -- 78% -- of Texans believe abortion should be allowed in some form, according to a recent University of Texas poll.
51% : In the two decades since Roe v. Wade was decided, the Republican Party, led by Texas strategists like Karl Rove, had harnessed anti-abortion passion to turn apolitical congregants into reliable GOP voters.
48% : Since 1999, more than 50 laws supported by anti-abortion groups have been passed in the Texas Legislature, including budget provisions that banned state funds to abortion providers while funneling some $200 million to the secretive "Alternatives to Abortion" program.
48% : Dickson was originally viewed by many of his peers as a fringe character, particularly when he first started advancing his big idea -- getting cities to pass local ordinances outlawing abortion.
47% : With little hope of effecting significant legislative action on abortion, the movement focused mostly on what Texas Right to Life legislative director John Seago called "prayerful presence" at abortion clinics and supporting the newly developing network of crisis pregnancy centers.
46% : Decades later, the teenager, now Kyleen Wright, remains one of the state's most vocal opponents to abortion rights, heading up Texans for Life -- one group in a powerful but fractured movement that has spent the last five decades fighting to overturn the constitutional protection for abortion that is laid out in Roe v. Wade.
46% : By the late 1990s, the Christian right and the Texas Republicans were a political power couple -- influencing, as a team, everything from redistricting to public education, and injecting social issues like abortion and gay marriage into the heart and soul of Texas politics.
44% : Nearly 50 years ago, a high school freshman in Alief was in her sex education class when another student asked the teacher about abortion.
43% : At the time these groups started to form, Democrats controlled the Texas Legislature and statewide offices, and the opposition to abortion was mostly relegated to the churches, the activists and the evangelical grassroots.
43% : There are some areas of agreement among the anti-abortion groups: They want to tighten enforcement of existing abortion laws and increase regulation of nonimplanted, frozen embryos in IVF treatment, among other goals.
41% : "The Texas case showed the Supreme Court that ... one way or another, abortion was going to end in Texas," Dickson said.
40% : If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, Texas will automatically ban abortion with exceptions only to save the life of the mother.
38% : While Roe v. Wade stopped them from enacting an outright ban on abortion, the Legislature managed to restrict access in other ways -- and provided other states with a blueprint for similar efforts.
37% : But the 20-week ban remained in place, despite being in opposition to Roe v. Wade, which prohibits bans on abortion before fetal viability, usually around 22 to 24 weeks.
36% : "There was no reported case of a woman prosecuted for abortion in Texas or any other state before 1973 (when Roe came out).
34% : Before that, abortion had been illegal in Texas for more than 100 years, and the fragmented, unfocused anti-abortion movement was just finding its direction.
33% : When she finally learned what abortion was, she made up her mind to stop it.
31% : Nationally, attitudes toward abortion have remained fairly steady since the 1970s, with less than a fifth of all Americans believing the procedure should be banned outright.
31% : This clever sidestep of Roe v. Wade became the framework for Texas's Senate Bill 8, which banned abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.
27% : "Especially when they can just scare the shit out of people with, 'Abortion is murder,'" and ignore the consequences of forced birth."

*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. Bias scores are on a scale of -100% to 100% with higher negative scores being more liberal and higher positive scores being more conservative, and 0% being neutral. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization.

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