Surgical Strike

Make sure your doctor’s bag holds a thermometer, a stethoscope, a tongue depressor, an ophthalmoscope, a tourniquet, an otoscope, a patella hammer, and a loaded gun. Wait, make that three loaded guns. “To be a physician who performs abortions in a small southern town is to be in a state of rational hypervigilance, a whisper of worry pervading the everyday. That has persisted even after Adams was cornered into retirement last summer — itself another reminder of the not-normal-ness of his life. He is his own security detail: That day, he had one gun in his pocket, another in his jacket, and a third in his car. At a town meeting earlier this year, some locals compared his work to the Holocaust, while an elected official mentioned him by name, called him a serial killer, and talked about how easy it was to look up the tax records for his home.” The gun-toting isn’t Wes Adams’ only characteristic that might surprise you. He’s a reminder of a time, not that long ago, when abortion wasn’t an entirely partisan issue. Eric Boodman in Stat: How a conservative, gun-toting doctor defended abortion access in Appalachia.

+ “In 1973 the lines were more blurred. Republican and Democratic voters were equally likely to say abortion should be legal, while it was easy to find Republican officials who supported abortion rights and Democrats who opposed the procedure.” Explainer: How abortion became a divisive issue in U.S. politics. (This was before everything became a divisive issue in U.S. politics.)

+ How political has this issue become? Maybe bigger than defense. It’s at the heart of Sen. Tommy Tuberville blocking the confirmations of our most senior military officers. The civilian leaders of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force and Army have had enough. WaPo (Gift Article): Stop this dangerous hold on senior officers. “Senators have many legislative and oversight tools to show their opposition to a specific policy. They are free to introduce legislation, gather support for that legislation and pass it. But placing a blanket hold on all general and flag officer nominees, who as apolitical officials have traditionally been exempt from the hold process, is unfair to these military leaders and their families. And it is putting our national security at risk.”

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