Lila Rose, the president of Live Action who made national headlines for exposing law-breaking practices at Planned Parenthood abortion centers, penned a remarkable editorial entitled “The cry of the anti-abortion feminist,” which was recently published by Politico.
Challenging prevailing stereotypes about feminism and encouraging readers to reconsider what is truly in the best interest of women does not go over well with the pro-abortion movement and the mainstream media.
Just in her twenties, Lila Rose has been an inspiration to the youth of the pro-life movement for several years. Yet, to accompany the article Politico chose a photo that showed not one pro-life young person. Instead, they chose a photo from a pro-life rally featuring grumpy-looking white-haired activists, about half of which are male. The text itself challenges commonly held misconceptions about the pro-life movement, yet the chosen photo does the opposite by reinforcing the erroneous claim that the movement is just based on ideas of the past and motivated by religious fanaticism. Why not just use an actual photo of Lila Rose? Or a photo showing some of the thousands of young people, many of whom are female, who attend the annual March for Life?
While Politico’s tactic was subtle, the pro-abortion blog Jezebel came out swinging against Lila Rose and her challenge to pro-abortion feminism. Jezebel would not concede that the influence of pro-life women is on the rise. Author Erin Gloria Ryan wrote, “While anti-choice feminists may be getting more obnoxious, their numbers are far from “rising” in any way that looks to be electorally significant.” Ryan points to a USA Today poll showing Obama winning women voters over Mitt Romney. This is a convenient statistic for Ryan but her conclusion is not completely accurate considering Romney has yet to officially clinch the nomination and remains under attack from the Left and from his primary opponents. Only once there is a two-man race will polls like this have any validity.
However, the evidence is clear that pro-life feminism is on the rise. In 2010, pro-life women captured local offices, Congressional seats, a Senate seat and governorships across the country. In 2008, Democrats won 55% of the female vote. However, in 2010, they slid 7 points, actually losing the female vote to Republicans. 2010 marked the best showing for Republicans among women since 2002. A great deal of the backlash against Democrats stemmed from the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law, which remains unpopular among all Americans, including women. The law will also be a centerpiece of the 2012 presidential election. As public opinion has moved very little since the passage of the law, it poses a major problem for Democrats among women.
Democrats have foreseen this problem and are attempting to distract from the issue by putting the focus on pro-life efforts by Republicans. Any legislative effort to protect unborn children and their mothers has been swiftly labeled another battlefront in the “War on Women.” Democrats are also hoping to re-brand the unpopular healthcare law among women voters. In mid-March, the New York Times reported that over one million mailings were sent in separate versions to older and younger women, touting the law.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
One of the greatest distractions, which remains relevant to only the most partisan, came with the Rush Limbaugh comments on abortion advocate Sandra Fluke. Liberals tried to market the controversy as Republicans opposing birth control and displaying sexism. They were keen on having the country fixate on their martyr Sandra Fluke even though Republican leadership condemned the inappropriate comments and the Left has a track record of sexist treatment of conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
Jezebel says of Rose, “like most anti-abortion, anti-birth control advocates, her argument boils down to a very strong aversion to sluts.” The blog attacks Rose for opposing recent HHS mandates, which violate rights of conscience and would expand abortion. While trying to paint Rose as an extremist (or in their words, an “anti-slut pruding up the joint.”), the blog ignores a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showing by a 57%-36% margin Americans believe that religiously affiliated employers should be able to “opt out” of covering the full cost of birth control and related drugs if they have objections to doing so. 51% of respondents believed those exemptions should be extended to all employers.
Lila Rose and pro-life women like her are successfully re-writing what it means to be a feminist. The mainstream media and the pro-abortion movement see these women as a major threat to the status quo. Perhaps even more alarming for abortion advocates, these recent trends threaten the reelection of the most pro-abortion president in US history.
Rose says it most eloquently in the conclusion of her manifesto of pro-life feminism, “We don’t wish to take the country back in time; rather, we aspire to move it forward, beyond a time when women are treated as objects and pitted against their children and their religious institutions — and toward a time when truly emancipated women embrace their intrinsic dignity and, with it, their authentic womanhood.”