Wow, Joe. This is a powerful, well researched piece — the best thing I've seen while doing research to write something on this topic (and now will likely just point people here instead).

Here are two thoughts I think are noteworthy (in addition to everything you wrote about):

1. Jesus never talked about abortion in the Gospels even though abortion existed in his time and even though lots of other people mentioned it.

This makes abortion, in my view, a really strange key issue for Christians, since Christ *did* talk about his concern for the poor and oppressed dozens of times throughout the Gospels — and the Religious Right is often postured against the poor and oppressed in their fight on abortion (as you highlight in detail).

2. It was only in 1979, six years after Roe. v. Wade, that evangelical Christians made abortion their banner issue. Their initial response consisted of silence or mild approval, with evangelicals seeing abortion as a “Catholic issue.” But Jerry Falwell, who wanted tax-exemption status for his segregated college, knew that evangelical apathy about abortion would split the broader Christian vote. So he spearheaded a highly funded, highly calculated campaign to scare evangelicals into joining the Catholics against abortion. These religions together formed the “moral majority” and elected Ronald Reagan, who immediately tried to make segregated colleges tax exempt. In short, the whole thing was largely driven by a desire to make segregated colleges tax exempt.

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