We Need To Talk About Josh Hawley’s Creepy Anti-Abortion Dorm Poster

Photo: Graeme Jennings/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.
When Republican Senator Josh Hawley burst onto the scene as a more well-spoken mouthpiece for many of Donald Trump's dangerous, far-right ideologies, he quickly became the new star of the GOP — little did they know how quickly his "poster boy" image would be tarnished. In a recent New York Times story, numerous people from Hawley's life — from old school friends to academic advisers — spoke about their memories of the junior senator growing into the far-right conservative politician we know today. Some of it is expected, some of it is terrifying, but one piece of information is particularly bizarre.
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"I do think there was something reflexively present in Josh from early on that aligned with that kind of thinking," Dr. David Kennedy, Hawley's former college advisor said of his former student's rise to one of the Republican Party's most prominent members.
But in one memory recounted by a former Stanford classmate, Hawley appeared to have been unhinged long before the rest of us knew it. According to his classmate, he had a sepia-toned poster of a shirtless male model cradling a newborn placed directly above his bed in his dorm. Sound strange? Well, it gets stranger. When asked by classmates about the peculiar poster, Hawley would allegedly explain that it represented his fervent stance against abortion. 
According to a 2007 Independent article, the monochrome image was one of the biggest-selling posters in British history in the '80s, steadily selling millions of copies for years as the image came to represent the predicted arrival of a "New Man" who was both masculine and sensitive. But for Hawley, this image intended to portray the evolution of the male role in society seemed to stand in for his own pro-life ideals. Hawley even wrote about his stance in a series of columns for the conservative Stanford Review.
This shouldn't be a surprise coming from the man who, as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, insisted that he would not support any Supreme Court nominee that didn't publicly denounce Roe v. Wade. "I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided," he told The Washington Post in July 2020. "By explicitly acknowledging, I mean on the record and before they were nominated."
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In 2019, Hawley defended the state of Missouri's efforts to pass restrictive abortion laws saying they were a "direct response to the extremism" of abortion measures approved by Democratically-led states. And let's not forget, he also refused to certify the 2020 election results and openly supported the Capitol insurrection on January 6 as a principled stand against the "radical left."
When approached by the NYT, a spokesperson for Hawley said that he did not remember the poster but that "he's proudly pro-life."
So the poster, which strangely is the least concerning part of that story, is the only part he can't quite recall clearly; however, his unwavering record of insisting that he knows better than women do about what they should and shouldn't be allowed to do with their own bodies is crystal clear in his mind.

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