by Steven Ertelt
May 29, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading feminist who is known for trying to get the Augusta National Golf Club, the location of the Masters, to allow women said at a press conference that abortion women’s political issue. However, polls of women show that a majority are pro-life and abortion is low on the list of priorities.
Martha Burk, the former chairwoman of the National Council of Woman’s Organizations, spoke at the National Press Club on Friday.
"Women vote differently than men. Women have different priorities than men," Burk said. "Women are the majority. They can control any election."
Saying that there are several new pro-abortion lawmakers in the Senate and pointing to the defeat of pro-life ballot measures in California and Oregon, Burk claimed that’s because most women support abortion.
"If you can’t control your body, you can’t control any other part of your life," Burk said. "We’re constantly pushed into a corner to keep what we have."
She claimed that "not sending … daughters to the back alley" is at the top of the list of priorities for women.
Surveys of women show otherwise.
June 2003 poll conducted by the pro-abortion Center for the Advancement of Women found 51% of women took a pro-life position opposing most or all abortions while only 30 percent said it should be generally available.
Their poll also found that keeping abortion legal was the next to last most important priority for women as compared with other public policy issues.
A September 2003 survey conducted by the Polling Company found 54 percent of women selected one of three different pro-life views opposing all or almost all abortions. Only 39 percent backed abortion.
Kellyanne Conway of the Polling Company told CNS News that Burke has a warped view of what women want and maintained that "women are not single issue voters."
"They consider a whole panoply of issues, individuals, impressions, ideas, images, and throw them into the big voter cauldron before they make a choice," Conway said. "I think women are more substantive than Martha Burk does. I think women are smart enough to look beyond party labels and even gender to make important political decisions."
At the same time Burke claimed most women are pro-abortion, she advised candidates to move away from abortion issues.
She said issues like abortion distract from what voters care about and added, "If you want to win elections, you must abandon those issues."
But Connie Mackey, the senior vice president at the Family Research Council Action group, told CNS News that the suggestion is a recipe for disaster for pro-life candidates.
"The quickest way for a Republican to lose would be to adopt a pro-abortion stance," she said. "The base of the Republican Party is a pro-life base. If they were to abandon the pro-life issue and become pro-abortion, they would have no chance of winning.
"That is exactly what she [Burk] would like to see," Mackey told CNS News. "That is her way of helping the Democrats win back the White House. She would love to see them [Republicans] fall for that trick."