For lots of people, this was the story of the week — if you saw it covered anywhere.
Say what? If you were following any moral and religious conservatives on Twitter late this week, then you saw the explosion of outrage about proposed Virginia legislation that cranked up the flames under a topic that has long caused pain and fierce debate among Democrats — third-trimester abortion.
However, if you tend to follow mainstream media accounts on Twitter, or liberal evangelicals, or progressives linked to other religious traditions, then you heard — not so much. Ditto for big-TV news.
Now why would this be?
After all, the direct quotes from Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia were pretty out there, if you read them the same way as the leader of Democrats For Life, Kristen Day, who put the i-word in play — infanticide.
Once again, no one has to agree with her, but there are fierce debates about how many Democrats would welcome new restrictions on abortion, especially after 20 weeks or “viability.”
What’s the fight about? On one side are those who see Northam & Co. opening a door that leads — with a wink and a nod — to horrors that are hard to contemplate. On the other side are those who see the right to abortion under attack and want to protect every inch of the legal terrain they have held for years, and perhaps even capture new ground.
On the pro-abortion-rights left, what happened in Virginia — what Northam and others advocated — is not news. The news is the right-wing reaction — it’s the “seized” meme — to those words. And, of course, the tweeter in chief piled on.
Want to guess which wide the Acela-zone press backed?
Here’s the headline at The New York Times: “Republicans Seize on Late-Term Abortion as a Potent 2020 Issue.”