By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life
Editor’s note. This President’s column appeared on page three of the November post-election issue of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire 34-page edition at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsNov2014.pdf
For years now, the country has been inundated with rhetoric about the so-called “war on women,” an attempt (people were told) by pro-lifers, conservatives, Republicans, white men (any or all of these) to take women back to the dark ages. After the November 4 mid-term elections, one especially bitter pro-abortionist, Imani Gandy, gloomily insisted their battle was to escape being “corralled in Republican-funded breeding farms, serving as little more than brood mares in a dystopian landscape that would make even Margaret Atwood shudder.”
No doubt Gandy was thinking of the many pro-abortion candidates who were defeated by pro-life candidates (including by female pro-life candidates). But if many pro-lifers declared (or at least hoped) that this mis-named “War on Women” would be laid to rest, I fear they are wrong.
Some future candidates may temper their campaigns a bit, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of that slogan—not by any means. The bitterness and vitriol of our opponents isn’t going to stop just because some of their candidates lost.
Besides, there is there a real war against women but it is waged by pro-abortionists. Moreover, as the last election cycle demonstrates, a major front in that war is against pro-life women.
Since the beginning of the abortion “debate,” men have been told to mind their own business, to shut up. This is a women’s issue and men have no right to speak out for the woman or the baby. (The exception, of course, would be if the man in question is going to support the abortion or promote the cause of abortion in general.)
But now we’re hearing that even women should shut up. Or at least if they are the “wrong” women. Women who oppose abortion should stay home and keep their mouths shut.
Because we just finished an election cycle, let’s look at a few examples.
Pro-abortion former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, campaigning in Iowa for pro-abortion senate candidate Bruce Braley, took a verbal shot at Braley’s opponent, pro-life Joni Ernst. “It’s not enough to be a woman,” Clinton declared. “You have to be committed to expand rights and opportunities for all women.”
In other words, because Ernst didn’t support abortion, she isn’t a “real” woman. The voters of Iowa disagreed and Ernst trounced Braley by almost 100,000 votes.
Clinton was not alone. Planned Parenthood attacked Joni Ernst as being “woefully out of touch with women,” insisting she “doesn’t trust women.”
A posting by NARAL on the social media site “Buzzfeed” stated,
“Let’s lay down the facts: reproductive freedom empowers women to control their futures and make decisions about whether, when, and with whom to have a family. We need lawmakers, be they women or men, who will keep politicians out of our personal decisions and make sure women can get the health care they need. These three women didn’t get the memo.”
The posting then went on to attack Terri Lynn Land and Joni Ernst, running for the U.S. Senate in Michigan and Iowa, respectively, and Barbara Comstock, running for the U.S. House from Virginia. Ernst and Comstock went on to win their elections but again, they weren’t on the “right” side of the abortion issue. Who were the “better” women? Their pro-abortion male rivals. They understood women better than pro-life women did.
Here is another example. Nikki Haley, the pro-life Governor of South Carolina, was victorious by a whopping 14 points in her bid for re-election. During the campaign, her pro-abortion male opponent said, “And we are going to escort [the] whore out the door.” He quickly re-stated it as, “We’re gonna escort her out the door” but not without a big smile and laughter as the crowd cheered, according to media accounts.
Switch this around—if a pro-life Republican man had said the same thing about a pro-abortion Democratic woman—you know it would have been a lead story on all the evening news shows. President Obama (as he should have) would have talked about how terribly inappropriate such a slur was; and so-called women’s groups like NARAL and NOW would have been raising money on it.
Because the object of the statement was a pro-life woman, most of the country never heard about Vincent Sheheen’s “slip of the tongue” (as his defenders said it was).
The ugliness was more wide spread than most people know. Mia Love is a new pro-life Congresswoman-elect from Utah. She happens to be black and Republican. She has been slammed in various outlets as an Uncle Tom, or Aunt Tam. Some people may not like that she is a pro-life Republican but this is really ugly. It gets worse, alas.
Saira Blair, an 18-year-old just elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, was pilloried on some websites for being a young woman who is pro-life. If she was pro-abortion, she’d be hailed as a new, up-and-coming star—the next Wendy Davis. (Check that, Saira won her race, Davis lost by nearly a million votes. But you get the point.)
Politics is a rough and tumble game and anyone, man or woman, who enters into the fray has to be able to take the hits. But I firmly believe that pro-life women are the most vilified and despised candidates and that the attacks have gone way past legitimate criticism to the ugliest of personal attacks. And, as we talked about in the beginning, if they want to protect unborn babies, they are said to be somehow anti-woman.
But it’s not just pro-life candidates who are under siege by pro-abortionists. Women who have had abortions, and now regret the abortion, are also looked upon with scorn and derision by abortion advocates.
It is becoming accepted throughout the abortion community to say that if a woman has mental health issues after her abortion, she must have had those problems before the abortion. What a convenient way to deny post-abortion syndrome—you’re having problems coming out of the abortion because you brought problems into the abortion.
I have written and spoken many times about how there is a war on women, but it is being waged by abortion advocates who:
· fight informed consent, or right to know, requirements for women who are seeking an abortion. They are afraid that if the mother gets relevant information or sees her baby through ultrasound, she’ll change her mind.
· want to provide dangerous chemical abortions via “webcam.” When a woman suffers complications from the abortion, the “doctor” [abortionist] may be hundreds of miles away.
· want to allow non-physicians to perform surgical abortions.
· fight regulations requiring abortion facilities to meet the most basic health and safety standards of medical clinics.
· are trying to shut down pregnancy resource centers that offer support and alternatives to a woman during a scary time in her life.
I think the war continues—on pro-life women.