One of the cleverest tactics the Right ever deployed was to promulgate that ridiculous pseudo-scientific idea to get doctrinaire Catholics to slice their own throats. My parents were just on the other side of the line where they personally opposed abortion but understood the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, beginning with Reagan, a lot of otherwise decent and intelligent Catholics, even some Catholic intellectuals, fell for the bait and got fleeced.
These were people who completely understood that the GOP was just a Trojan horse for Plutes destroying the American middle class but they couldn't shake that one bullsh-t talking point that they were duty bound to pretend their personal and highly eccentric interpretation of a medical procedure was a universally applicable moral deal-breaker, and Mother Church of course encouraged them because absolutism is their sine qua non. So ironic since in retrospect it turns out the Church is nothing but garden variety rapists and conspirators.
joe and his ilk were conned by the people they trusted, and that's a shame, but it's their own fault. They had brains and eyes. All the rest of us saw the Right was exploiting them as useful idiots and laughing behind their backs. They could have, too.