By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This was posted a couple of years ago but its message is so important I thought you would want to read it again. It was written before Dobbs overturned Roe v. Wade.
We’ve often written about the media “bubble,” how so many reporters are so disconnected that when they meet pro-lifers in the flesh, it’s like an anthropologist discovering a new tribe in New Guinea. But, as the saying goes, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it has a gap or two in its teeth (in this metaphor, mixing error with truth).
Enter a story from, of all places, the Washington Post with this incredible headline/sub-headline:
In Texas and beyond, conservative Republican women are helping lead the fight to restrict abortion: Democrats like to say Republicans are waging a ‘war on women.’ That erases the conservative Republican women working to ban abortion.
Right from the get-go, “erases” is the perfect choice of words. When you start from the premise that the only women who count in the abortion discussion are those who are Democrats or write for their legion of media allies, well, golly gee, you have “erased” pro-life women.
But what happens if, by chance, you open your eyes?
This is what Rebecca J. Kreitzer, Abigail A. Matthews, and Emily U. Schilling did. And, with virtually no exceptions, “conservative” is synonymous with pro-life.
Their opening paragraph sets the tenor of their coverage. (Ignore the writers’ use of the slanted “restrictive/restricting” wording):
Last week, the Supreme Court allowed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country to go into effect since Roe v. Wade codified abortion as a constitutional right. Many in Democratic circles say that men shouldn’t make laws about women’s bodies. That’s part of a broader pattern of overlooking Republican women’s influence in American politics.
But in fact, Republican women play a prominent role in restricting abortion.
The article is astonishing. The trio (of female) reporters go through the manner in which Republican women are prominent in enacting and protecting protective abortion laws and, in fact, in many-to-most instances are more conservative than Republican men. (None of this is news to pro-lifers. Overwhelmingly, the leadership of our Movement is female.)
Examples from the story? Here are four.
#1. “Republican women elected in the past 20 years are more conservative than their earlier counterparts; at times they’re even more conservative than Republican men. In Congress and in state legislatures, Republican women actively support abortion restrictions and are especially likely to introduce such bills when the ideological distance between Democratic and Republican women grows — a distance that has been growing as the parties, in general, grow more polarized.” Nothing need be added.
#2. Republican women “wrote or co-sponsored more than half of the 32 abortion-restriction bills introduced in the Texas House and 10 of the 15 in the Texas Senate.” And, as is the case at the congressional level, more women are being elected in Texas—and they are overwhelmingly pro-life and having an impact. “First-year Republican woman — and the most conservative woman in the Texas House — Rep. Shelby Slawson introduced the House version of the six-week ban, H.B. 1515.”
At the end of their article, when the Post writers talk about “More states are following Texas’s lead,” the governors of two of the six are women.
#3. “Women lead many interest groups that provide lawmakers with model legislation designed to overturn Roe in the courts.” National Right to Life’s president is Carol Tobias. Ingrid Duran is National Right to Life Director of State Legislation. Jennifer Popik, JD, is Director of Federal Legislation. And
#4. “Women judges support abortion restrictions” is the subhead of one section. Kreitzer, Matthews, and Schilling then list the names of many federal judges appointed by the pro-life Trump administration and previous pro-life Republican administrations. And
The Post article ends wistfully:
Americans disagree profoundly over whether these policies benefit or harm women. But there’s no mistaking that conservative women join conservative men shaping abortion policy.
To be more precise make no mistake that conservative women long ago led conservative men in shaping abortion policy. What this article makes clear, for those willing to put aside their biases, is that the role of women in protecting unborn babies will only grow larger whether it be enacting legislation, leading pro-life groups such as National Right to Life, or upholding protective laws in the courts.