Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect. She is also the author of Kingdom Coming and The Means of Reproduction.

Recent Articles

Futile Concessions

Health-care reform hinges on abortion, but the pro-choice movement has already lost.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Over the years, I've put myself on lots of right-wing mailing lists, which must have been why the American Center for Law and Justice called this weekend to inform me that the Senate's health-care reform bill is "an abortionist's dream come true." The robocall, featuring the voice of ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow, said that the current bill is essentially the Freedom of Choice Act -- a long-cherished legislative goal of the pro-choice movement -- disguised as health-care reform. According to Sekulow, should the Senate bill pass, "every plan in the country will be forced to cover abortion." I was actually mildly surprised by Sekulow's willingness to flat out lie to his supporters. In truth, after all, health-care reform has been a nightmare for the pro-choice movement. If health care passes at all -- an increasingly distant possibility -- it is likely to eliminate the abortion coverage that millions of American women already have. Right now, the most feasible way to save health-care...

Tea Party, Meet the Religious Right

The upcoming tea-party convention has attracted a large number of high-profile conservative Christians. Could an alliance be next?

Protesters on the south steps of the Oklahoma state capitol, as part of a National Tax Day Tea Party, April 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Next month's Tea Party National Convention has been making news for the fat fee Sarah Palin is commanding -- $100,000, according to many reports. But the gathering, to be held at Nashville's Opryland Hotel, is interesting for another reason as well: It marks the attempt of the old-school Christian right to take over the tea-party movement. Speakers joining Palin include Rick Scarborough, Roy Moore, and Joseph Farah, men who are radical even by religious-right standards. Their presence shows that the tea-party movement is no longer merely populist, libertarian, or anti-government, if it ever was. It is theocratic. Indeed, after several months in which the religious right seemed lost and dispirited, it has found a way to ride the tea-party express into renewed relevance. From the beginning, of course, there's been overlap between the tea parties and the Christian right. Both have their strongholds in the white South, and both arise out of a sense of furious dispossession, a conviction...

Beauty Myths

Are impossible beauty standards a subconscious cultural reaction against women's growing political power?

Late last month, Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, came out against a proposal for a 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery to help offset the cost of health-care reform. Speaking to The New York Times , O'Neill argued that for some women, plastic surgery can be an economic necessity. "They have to find work," she said. "And they are going for Botox or going for eye work, because the fact is we live in a society that punishes women for getting older." O'Neill's stance was dispiriting, a sign of capitulation to unfair and unattainable beauty standards. But as a summation of where women stand at the end of the decade, it wasn't unrealistic. More than four decades after the famous feminist protests at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, few remain under the illusion that they can escape our culture's ever more exacting physical ideals. Shortly after the Times piece, a Forbes.com story reported what many women already know: "Women who advance most at work...

The "Obama's Jewish Problem" Meme.

Late last week, The New York Times published an 800-word story about a few right-wing Jews' complaints that Barack Obama 's Hannukah party was smaller than that of Bush , a purported sign of the White House's callous indifference to the Jewish people. On Friday, the CBS News Political Hotsheet blog picked up the story with a headline declaring: "White House Hanukkah Party Spawns Anger." "Jews at home and abroad have been slow to warm to Mr. Obama – a recent poll found nearly 40 percent of Israelis believe he is Muslim – and it seems the distrust within the community is at least partly driving the anger," said the CBS item. This is, of course, untrue. Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 -- a gain of four points over Kerry, and only a single point less than the Gore/Lieberman ticket in 2000. Obama's favorability numbers among Jews have fallen in tandem with the rest of the country, but remain high: an October Gallup poll showed that 64 percent of Jews approve of...

Europe's <i>Roe v. Wade</i>?

A case before the European Court of Human Rights rests on the question of whether reproductive rights should be universal.

Pro-life protesters in Dublin, Saturday July 4, 2009. (Niall Carson/AP Images)
On Wednesday, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, began hearing a case that has the potential to be a kind of Roe v. Wade for Europe. Three Irish women who had to travel to England for abortions are challenging their government's abortion ban, saying the expense and hardship involved constitute a violation of their human rights. Precedent suggests that the court could agree. If it does, the repercussions will go far beyond reproductive rights, raising important questions about where in Europe national sovereignty ends and international guarantees of liberty begin. Ireland's abortion regime is paradoxical and shot through with hypocrisy. The law is draconian -- abortion is banned in all cases except when a woman's life is at stake, and is punishable by life in prison. But in 1992, the country's Supreme Court ruled that it is legal for Irish women to travel abroad for abortions, and every year, around 7,000 do, usually to England. Those challenging Ireland's...