Abortion Activist Admits Abortion Issue Doesn’t Drive Women Voters
by Steven Ertelt
July 21, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Imagine you’re the head of a women’s group that backs abortion. In your quest to elect candidates who agree with your position, you’re likely to talk up the importance of the issue to your membership and how they are excited to vote for like-minded candidates.
Yet, the political director of a nationally renown pro-abortion organization told the Christian Science Monitor newspaper that abortion is not an issue that drive women voters — nor is it their top priority.
Karen White of Emily’s List, a political organization that backs pro-abortion candidates, says abortion "is not an issue where a woman wakes up every morning and says, ‘I am going to look up what my candidate thinks on abortion.’"
"Now, while it may be an important issue, and she may have a very strong opinion about it, [it] is not what is driving her to vote," White admitted.
In fact, White told the Monitor newspaper that the top issue for women is the war in Iraq and the number one issue for women swing voters is health care.
Perhaps White is acknowledging a June 2003 poll conducted by the Center for the Advancement of Women, which also backs abortion.
The survey found that 51% took a pro-life position opposing most or all abortions while only thirty percent said it should be generally available.
The poll also found that keeping abortion legal was the next to last most important priority for women. Fewer than half (41%) cite preserving abortion as a priority — down from 49 percent in 2001.
In comparison, 92% list domestic violence and assault as a primary concern. A close second (90%) is equal pay for equal work. Also of greater importance to women is the ability to take time off to care for family (74%), reducing drug & alcohol addiction (72%) and increasing women’s study of math, science, and technology (66%).
Jennifer Bingham of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group that works to elect pro-life women to public office, tells LifeNews.com the media has painted a false impression that a majority of women support abortion.
"Poll after poll is showing that more and more American women are classifying themselves as pro-life," Bingham said. "After 30 years of the message that ‘choice’ means a women’s right to choose an abortion — women are finally expressing choice as the right to have a child."
Meanwhile, an October 2003 poll conducted by Emily’s List found that President Bush does just as well with women voters as with, at the time, an unnamed Democratic presidential candidate.
Among women, 42 percent said they would likely support the Democratic nominee while 39 percent said they would back President Bush.
In 1996, Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole by 16 percent among women voters. Bush cut the so-called "gender gap" to 11 in 2000.