By Elizabeth Spillman
We all know that Hollywood and pop culture are overwhelmingly pro-abortion and routinely promote that position. But, I have to say, even I was a little taken aback recently when a friend told me about a storyline in the hit T.V. show “Scandal.” However, I believe it provides a teachable moment, especially as we are entering a big election year.
“Scandal” is a political drama on ABC. Sally Langston, the character that plays the Vice President, is preparing to mount a run for the Presidency. Her character is an outspoken Christian, pro-life conservative.
In a recent episode, she has a conversation with her campaign manager. He demands that she immediately renounce her faith and her pro-life convictions, insisting that otherwise she will not win. He emphatically states that women would never support her. She briefly objects, and while the ease with which she caves (no questions asked) may reinforce the biases of the writers of “Scandal,” it is not true to life, figuratively or literally.
The assumption that a pro-life candidate could not possibly win–and will fold like a tent when confronted by a campaign manager–goes completely unchallenged. This false premise–that having a pro-life position is a hindrance, even a politically fatal mistake–is continually perpetuated by the mainstream cultural narrative, and in this case by the writers of “Scandal.”
I’m sure you will hear this more times than you can count over the next year. But let’s look at the facts.
We see upon close examination of the numbers, a pro-life position is actually an advantage in many elections. For example, a poll taken after the 2010 elections showed that of those voters who said abortion affected their vote, they voted for the pro-life candidate by a 14% margin. Even in the 2012 elections, when the outcome was not what we wanted, this advantage held, albeit by a smaller margin.
Let’s take a look at the recent gubernatorial election in Virginia. Conventional wisdom has said that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lost to pro-abortion Terry McAuliffe because he was too “extreme” on abortion. But what do the numbers say?
According to an article written by Adam Schaeffer and Nancy Smith that appeared in “Campaigns and Elections,” here’s what research conducted by Evolving Strategies and the Middle Resolution PAC shows:
“What moved the voters most was an attack on McAuliffe’s positions on abortion; a single phone message emphasizing McAuliffe’s support for unrestricted, late-term, and taxpayer-funded abortions shifted support a net 13 to 15 points away from McAuliffe and toward Cuccinelli.”
Even in the liberal, pro-abortion bastion of New Jersey, pro-life Governor Chris Christie won re-election last month by a landslide.
Another false assumption implied in the notion that pro-life candidates do not win, is that women are overwhelmingly “pro-choice” and therefore won’t support a pro-life candidate. A Gallup poll from this past May shows that, in reality, men and women are fairly evenly divided on this issue.
Moreover a poll done by The Polling Company in July of 2012 shows that 62% of women surveyed would be more likely to support a hypothetical Congressional candidate if that candidate supported a bill that would “not allow abortion in the District of Columbia after 22 weeks of pregnancy. . . . unless the mother’s life is in danger.” In addition, in the same poll, 70% of women surveyed said that they did not believe abortion should be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that unborn children can feel pain.
Messaging matters greatly, but by and large Americans are more than willing to support a pro-life candidate, regardless of what advisors to “Vice President Sally Langston” say.
For more information on the pro-life advantage, visit www.nrlpac.org or click here www.nrlpac.org/pdf/Prolife_Increment.pdf