The president of a political action committee dedicated to the election of “pro-choice” female candidates was in New Hampshire last week. Stephanie Schriock of EMILY’s List presided at a town-hall-style event organized to promote a female candidate for president in 2016.
Reporter Pat Grossmith of the New Hampshire Sunday News of 9/29/13 reported,”As for reproductive rights, [Schriock] said it was a economic issue, not a social issue, along with minimum wage, equal pay and child care.” I’ve heard this before. I call it the Make Life Perfect First argument: start by making everything else in life perfect, and then it will follow that women won’t have abortions.
Not that easy
It’s not that easy. It’s nearly impossible to calculate the the amount of money that’s been spent on the state and federal levels in the past few decades on the welfare of women and children. Still, hundreds of thousands of abortions are committed annually in the U.S. – over a million in some years, according to the shaky data that’s available.
The foundation of pro-life belief and action is the unshakable understanding that the right to life is inherent from the first moment of prenatal life. It doesn’t depend on any external factor like the mother’s feelings or the local WIC allotment. That understanding is free. Its implications are profoundly at variance with the Make Life Perfect philosophy.
Reproductive rights means abortion on demand (and without apology, according to its most ardent partisans). That’s the most deadly civil rights challenge of the last 40 years. When rights are dependent on how much one is wanted, injustice prevails, no matter what any judge says.
Money and language
EMILY’s List through the years has raised more than a quarter-billion dollars to help elect pro-abortion women. That’s billion with a B. I’m sure Schriock felt very much at home as she visited a state with a pro-abortion governor, two pro-abortion members of Congress, and a pro-abortion U.S. Senator – all women.
And yet when questioned by the Sunday News reporter, Schriock wouldn’t use the word abortion. In a political discussion, “rights” sells; “abortion,” not so much anymore. That’s telling. The public is shrinking from abortion, as shown by the passage of so many state-level pro-life laws in the past few years. Yet abortion advocates still win elections.
The only way to do that is to use euphemisms and distractions. EMILY’s List and organizations that share its goal have been very good at that. It’s hard to argue in favor of abortion up until birth, if the focus is on the preborn child and on the well-being of the mother. Shift the terms to “choice,” war-on-women and “reproductive rights,” and combine that with political opponents who prefer silence to making the pro-life case, and pro-abortion candidates gain an edge. I’m not giving away any secrets.
To EMILY’s List, then, a key is to introduce economics to the discussion. They’re out for big game: a female pro-abortion president. Schriock noted at her New Hampshire stop that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only possibility. She reeled off a half dozen other names as well, including Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services secretary. Yes, the HHS mandate queen looks like presidential timber to that outfit.
It’s up to individual candidates and individual donors to pick up the gauntlet. The Susan B. Anthony List‘s PAC is the sole nationwide political action committee dedicated to identifying and electing pro-life candidates. “Advancing, mobilizing and representing pro-life women” is the SBA List mission. They’ll help pro-life women who are running for office, but they don’t neglect pro-life men. I know state-level PACs can operate as well. Keep an eye out for them.
If you’re telling yourself that politics shouldn’t be about money, you’re half right. Politics is about policy. Getting elected to influence policy does cost money. Try traveling around your state without it, or buying ads, or bringing together a team dedicated full-time to helping in the effort.
Think about the quarter of a billion dollars that EMILY’s List has spent. Where’s the pro-life equivalent? SBA List is willing to go the distance, with sufficient support from pro-life donors.
That’s where economics comes in. Keep the dollar signs off the babies.