By Dave Andrusko
Let me be clear at the outset, I’m not entirely clear I understand what Shelley Abrams is saying. Writing for the pro-abortion site RhRealityCheck.org, her post is titled, “Maybe the United States Is Ready for an Unabashedly Pro-Choice Candidate.”
She can’t be saying there is no place where a pro-abortion to the bone candidate can’t win. There are clearly places in the United States where they can. But it is also true that in most jurisdictions in most states, anti-life candidates tip-toe around the abortion issue.
Why? Because as we have demonstrated through an examination of almost limitless polls, a majority of the public is much closer to our position than it is to the pro-abortionist’s. The wind of public opinion blows in our opponents’ faces
But what Abrams does clearly assert is that candidates such as Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (now running for governor) and Terry McAuliffe (who won the governorship in Virginia last November) are backsliding from their staunch pro-abortion positions. And, Abrams argues, this is foolish and, in fact, counter-productive.
“Has the pro-choice left been so brainwashed by anti-choicers that our own side, perhaps subconsciously, began to perpetuate the stigma around abortion by refusing to accept the obvious?” The “obvious” being to win they should hold fast to high-profile abortion advocacy.
Let’s deal with McAuliffe first. Reading Abrams, you’d think that the tiger had changed his stripes, that he’d become Mr. Moderate since he moved into the governor’s mansion. He has not changed a whit, which irritates the likes of the Washington Post.
They knew his reputation as a principle-free, wheeler and dealer with no executive experience, best known for his association with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But they endorsed him anyway and in the process used the news pages to demonize his pro-life Republican opponent.
And McAuliffe in office is exactly the same McAuliffe he was before winning election.
Davis is more interesting and is a clearer illustration of Abrams’ point. She believes that Davis is behind her pro-life Republican opponent not because she is rightly being saddled with her high-visibility support for abortion (aka her famous filibuster of pro-life Texas legislation) but because she has walked away from it.
I’m sure there is nothing that anyone could say, any poll they could offer to Abrams that could convince her that Davis would have no chance to win UNLESS she talked about anything but abortion. But to the rest of us…
Davis’ ascendency was fueled by opposition to a measure that, among other things, required the abortion industry in Texas to clean up its act, have access to a local hospital when there are the inevitable complications, and would not allow abortionists to kill unborn babies capable of experiencing pain. Once the adrenalin subsided and the public learned exactly what it was the Davis was championing, her numbers dropped.
By way of passing, I should note that Abrams writes a lot about what she calls “abortion bizarro world” where “one plus one never equals two.” She then lists her litany of “truths” that are excluded from the conversation in the “abortion bizarre world”—the absence of which means that 1+1 can never equal 2.
But the real truth is, if you read the Establishment Media, you know that the conventional wisdom about abortion—the “story line”—is hermetically sealed. Counter-information—whether that is the terrible aftermath of abortion for many women, what polls really tell you about the public’s feelings about abortion, or how the pro-life “increment” helps the pro-life candidate to win—is not allowed in.
So, it is true that pro-abortion candidates can win, even extreme pro-abortion candidates in some locales. But there is a reason in most cases they do everything they can to blur their positions: it hurts them.