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SAVANNAH — Mothers pushing baby strollers and throngs of young men marched Thursday night to a Savannah police station “demanding justice” for 29-year-old Charles Smith, who was shot and killed Thursday morning by a Savannah police officer while in custody.
Though it’s not much of a surprise, talk radio provocateur Erick Erickson has fessed up to being part of the effort to persuade the National Right to Life organization to disassociate itself from Georgia Right to Life. From PeachPundit:
I’m talking about the Georgia Life Alliance, of which I am a part and will be on the board. This weekend we are asking National Right to Life to affiliate with us, which would mean ending their relationship with Georgia Right to Life (“GRTL”).
I have been calling for a new pro-life organization in Georgia since GRTL sided with Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups to oppose the 20-week abortion ban in the U.S. House of Representatives. GRTL has held its head up and said it took a hard line position and suggested other pro-life groups were going soft.
In fact, as I said then and repeat now, life is too precious and important for political gamesmanship. And I believe GRTL took that position for other political purposes instead of joining every other pro-life group in America to advance the life agenda down the field.
On Friday, behind a closed door in Washington, an upstart group with substantial but unstated political backing back home will ask the National Right to Life organization to discard Georgia Right to Life — the most powerful anti-abortion force in the state Capitol — as one of its 50 state affiliates.
It’s a bold power play that involves the current Republican race for the U.S. Senate, a threatened Democratic resurgence in Georgia, and GRTL’s insistent refusal to recognize incest and rape as exceptions to its blanket condemnation of abortion.
Candidates who disagree with the Georgia chapter’s uncompromising position that abortion is acceptable only when the life of the mother is at stake do not win GRTL’s stamp of approval.
The same goes for legislation, whether state or federal. Even if that legislation is backed by GRTL’s parent organization, National Right to Life.
GRTL “has been willing to say we cannot support the killing of any class of human being because of their conception mode,” said unapologetic spokesman Mike Griffin, who pointed to his group’s success in Georgia since 2002 as evidence that an unconditional approach is politically viable.
“They say the proof is in the pudding. There’s a lot of pudding here,” Griffin said. “Which begs the question, why the challenge?”
One likely answer: Many Republican critics worry that such absolutism will become a liability as the state makes its slow but relentless demographic march back to Democratic parity.