Roy Moore, Abortion, and the Presumption of Innocence
Flip Benham, an evangelical pastor and anti-abortion activist, recently appeared on an Alabama radio show to speak in defense of Roy Moore’s sexual preferences. Moore, the Republican candidate for the state’s open Senate seat, has recently been
As the longtime leader of the pro-life group Operation Save America, formerly known as Operation Rescue, Benham broadened the organization’s reach to include anti-L.G.B.T.Q. and anti-pornography efforts. His biggest claim to fame is coaxing the transformation of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, into a born-again anti-abortion activist. (He even baptized McCorvey himself, “in the backyard swimming pool of a member of his congregation,” according to Vanity Fair.) In Moore, Benham has a candidate who sees eye to eye with him on abortion: Moore is an adherent of the “personhood movement,” which holds that life begins at fertilization, and which aims to outlaw all forms of abortion, as well as the morning-after pill and the contraceptive I.U.D.
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Jessica Winter is executive editor of newyorker.com and a former editor at Slate and Time. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives with her family in Flatbush, Brooklyn.