An abrupt political shift to the right
There’s a special bitterness among abortion providers and activists because things weren’t supposed to work out this way. After 12 years of mano a mano with the antichoice Reagan and Bush administrations, a demoralized pro-choice movement was given a fresh blast of oxygen when Clinton moved into the White House in January 1993. Hopes were further buoyed when the new president not only immediately lifted the Reagan-era gag rule on abortion clinics but also ordered the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing RU 486, the “abortion pill,” which when legalized maybe as soon as next year could make it easier for a woman to privately and quietly choose abortion.
When the votes were totaled in last November’s congressional election, however, a political earthquake shook America, and the pro-choice movement was standing right at the epicenter. The Republican landslide altered, overnight, the terrain on w hich the future of reproductive rights is to be fought.