The far-right is celebrating what it sees as the impending collapse of abortion rights in the U.S., labeling women “witches” and “whores” and declaring “Christ is King” across social media.
“Christ is King” is a familiar phrase in Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, but it’s been co-opted recently by “America First” Christian ultra-nationalists, who have chanted it at political rallies and anti-abortion marches and used it as a rallying cry online. Now it’s being used to signify support for the demise of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, after Politico published a leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court Monday. The document revealed that a majority of the justices voted to overturn the landmark case.
“We are taking back territory and we WILL lift the curse summoned by human sacrifice off of our nation by ENDING abortion,” wrote far-right self-identified Christian nationalist Lauren Witzke Monday evening on her Telegram page to her nearly 30,000 subscribers. “CHRIST IS KING!”
While the far-right have typically been anti-abortion by virtue of their position on the political spectrum, there’s been a recent uptick in interest in the issue among optics-savvy right-wing extremists. Those groups and individuals, in their efforts to mainstream their ideology, have sought alliances within established right-wing movements—including the well-oiled, deep-pocketed anti-abortion movement.
“We are taking back territory and we WILL lift the curse summoned by human sacrifice off of our nation by ENDING abortion.”
The far-right have been able to make those inroads by riding the wave of Christian nationalist ideology that swelled during Donald Trump’s presidency. Christian nationalists worship Trump as a Christlike figure and believe America is an inherently Christian nation. They’ve framed contentious social and political issues—voting rights, abortion, transgender healthcare, LGBTQ rights, vaccines, and “critical race theory”—as primordial battles between good and evil that threaten not only Christian values but American values.
“The same people who openly want vaccine mandates are the same people who want to normalize pedophilia, are the same people who want to legalize baby murder,” wrote one verified user on Gab, a social media platform popular among the far-right. “Leftism is literally satanism.”
Many of the far-right accounts that have weighed in on Roe v. Wade since Monday night have also not held back from using explicitly misogynistic, violent language that promotes tired tropes about women and sexual purity.
“Hahahaha fuck you whores,” wrote Tulsa’s Proud Boy chapter on Telegram, with a link to the original Politico article.
“BEGIN PREEMPTIVELY ROASTING HOES NOW,” Nick Ochs, who founded Hawaii’s Proud Boy chapter, wrote on his Telegram.
“Happy ‘whores on suicide watch’ day, boys!!!!” wrote someone in a white nationalist channel on Telegram.
Some far-right figures have also started using a throwback insult for women and others upset about the prospective collapse of abortion rights, calling them “witches.”
After protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court Monday night, Witzke posted an image to her Telegram channel with the caption “check out the witches gathering.” And a man on Twitter with a crucifix and an American flag in his handle wrote, “Witches (many beyond their child-bearing years) are in absolute despair at the prospect of fewer child sacrifices occurring in America. Abortion is their most unholy sacrament with Satan, their husband.” (Many in the “TradCath”—Traditionalist Catholic—or Christian nationalist movement signal their ideological affiliation through a crucifix in their profiles.)
Abortion access was presumed to be settled law, but in the draft opinion, conservative justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” The court’s four other conservative justices appear to agree with him, and only Chief Justice John Roberts has yet to make up his mind. The official decision likely won’t be released until June or July.
In the last few years, red states have enacted laws that drastically limited abortion access and, in many cases, sought to trigger a Supreme Court case that would overturn Roe v. Wade. With abortion rights now on the brink of collapse, the far-right are feeling emboldened and hoping that LGBTQ rights and gender-affirming healthcare—targeted in a recent flurry of state bills—could meet similar ends.
“Leftism is literally satanism.”
A far-right media outlet affiliated with the Proud Boys called MurderTheMedia also shared an image from the protest outside the Supreme Court that showed a woman holding a clothes hanger—a symbol of the dangerous and often deadly lengths people would go to to perform abortions before Roe v. Wade became law. “Looks like one of them has accepted it,” MurderTheMedia wrote.
“Liberal hoes you can still choose murder,” wrote far-right media figure Jon Miller on Gab to his 45,000 followers. “No one took away your free will. But now your choices will have consequences, just as they did when you casually decided to bust it open. #RoeVWade”
Alongside a slew of posts about the Supreme Court leak, Gab founder Andrew Torba shared a meme Monday night that originated on 4chan and showed a blonde, white child leading a cow and a chicken through a meadow, with the words, “If only you knew how much better things could be.” That imagery is popular on white nationalist accounts; it’s meant to evoke “traditional” values of white families and purity.
A Nevada Proud Boys chapter exclaimed via Telegram, “BRO LET'S FUCKING GOOOOOOO,” when the news broke about the Supreme Court leak on Monday. They also made a poll asking whether any protests that break out over the collapse of abortion rights should be called “Hoe rights,” “Slut riots,” or “Baby Save Bash 2022.”
The group also added a meme from the satirical animated series “King of the Hill.”
The far-right is also obsessing over the leak—and its presumed source. Without any hard evidence, a theory has arisen that someone leaked the draft in an attempt to spark a backlash before it was law and potentially pressure Justice Alito to change course. The theory unleashed a torrent of racist rhetoric targeting the individual, who’s been called a “domestic terrorist” and accused of “treason.”
Politico reporter Josh Gerstein, who wrote the article, and editor in chief Matthew Kaminski have been getting similar treatment. Miller, the far-right media personality, posted a picture of Gerstein’s face to his Gab account and noted that Kaminski was a “Warsaw-born Jew.” “No surprises here, but just so we’re clear who we’re dealing with,” he added.
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