Gazette editorial: Right-wing setback

An anti-abortion activist stands in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, as the justices struck down the strict Texas anti-abortion restriction law known as HB2. The justices voted 5-3 in favor of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation’s second-most populous state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Social conservatives — mostly white evangelicals and fundamentalists attached to the Republican Party — keep suffering political defeats in America.

A major blow fell Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court voided a Texas law designed to destroy women’s right to choose to halt pregnancies.

In 2013, Texas conservatives passed a law requiring women’s clinics to meet high-tech standards like hospitals — although termination procedures sometimes involve no more than taking pills. The right-wing goal obviously was to drive clinics out of existence and leave desperate women no options.

The Center for Inquiry filed an amicus brief with the high court, saying the purpose of the Texas law clearly was “imposition of religious dogma on Americans’ lives.”

After justices killed the Texas plan, the center’s lawyer said:

“The zealots behind the Texas law thought they could do an end run around Roe v. Wade by feigning concern for women’s safety and fabricating unscientific testimony. They failed utterly. The fight is not over, and we will continue to work toward the day when the religious right will have to give up on trying to control the lives of women. That will be a good day.”

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Meanwhile, another social conservative setback is in the news, as follows:

Kenneth Starr is a fundamentalist Republican who prosecuted President Clinton in the 1990s for a foolish dalliance with a White House intern. The impeachment action failed.

“Mr. Starr appeared like the Cotton Mather of his time: a prurient, punishing Puritan,” a New York Times commentary said.

After failing in Washington, Starr became president of Baylor University in Texas, a hidebound Southern Baptist school. “With strong policies against drinking and premarital sex, Baylor has an enthusiasm for Jesus matched only by its passion for football,” the Times noted.

But Baylor football players assaulted female students, and Starr — who self-righteously prosecuted Clinton for hanky-panky — helped cover up Baylor’s sexual assaults. A string of athletes were convicted and sent to prison, and the scandal forced Starr’s dismissal.

Chalk up two more losses for right-wing Puritans.

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