WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014 — By now the mantra of the Democrats – the “War On Women” — is well past its best-freshness date, not that rhetorically running on fumes has ever crimped their style. After all, we’re still hearing phrases like “living in the shadows” and “broken immigration system” as though they were coined yesterday.
The expression, “war on women” goes back further than most realize. It was coined by the late feminist author Andrea Dworkin in the introduction to her book, “Beaver Talks” in 1989. Dworkin, from all accounts, appeared to be an honest intellectual and more objective in many ways than the rest of the feminist pack, similar in that respect to Camille Paglia.
The phrase really picked up momentum when it passed into the parlance of partisan political provocateurs such as Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Cali., and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali. The term, while seeming to be general in scope, is most commonly used to refer to initiatives aimed at trimming back taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and subsidies for abortion services.
In this context, the expression bench presses several times its weight in audacity. The very reform that this expression targets is a cessation of hostilities against a class of women that up until recently were short on defenders: unborn women. Lost in all the political posturing and accusations of curtailing a woman’s right to choose is the irony that abortion itself is the most destructive instrument in preventing an unborn female child from ever having the experiences and opportunities in life that women have striven to achieve in our society.
In the not-distant past, women had decidedly limited access to education, political participation and career mobility. That was the focus of the political struggles of women and the impetus behind the women’s suffrage movement as pioneered by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Those were feminist objectives, and they produced results that have benefited and ennobled our society — a great leap forward that no sensible person questions today.
Conveniently absent from the references in the mass media and in Women’s Studies on college campuses to the “War on Women” are the feminist voices from the past and present that vehemently oppose abortion as the default solution to unwanted pregnancies. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” Alice Paul — a woman whose pioneering feminist credentials as the author of the original Equal Rights Amendment (1923), cannot be dismissed — proclaimed, “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
The woman most associated with the attainment by women in America of the right to vote, Susan B. Anthony, strongly opposed abortion. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, itself a prominent pro-life organization, points out, “’The Revolution’ was her brainchild, co-founded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a weekly women’s rights newspaper that acted as the official voice of the National Woman Suffrage Association and in which appeared many of her writings alongside those of her like-minded colleagues.”
Pro-abortion feminists struggle to reconcile these pioneers of women’s rights with the views they held on a procedure they see as a sacred tenet of radical feminism. A common objection from the radical feminist camp is repeated by former Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt, who contends that the comments made by Anthony and her colleagues only fit the context of the society of the 19th Century.
That idea doesn’t hold up well, when you consider the passion invested in Anthony’s statement in one house editorial in The Revolution, appearing on July 8, 1869: “Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who … drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!”
And indeed, Susan B. Anthony’s earnestness and zeal has been passed on and preserved from her day to ours by countless champions of women’s rights.
Feminists For Life has a large membership base that includes outspoken adversaries of abortion such as the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The mass media paint a picture of feminists and women’s rights advocates as uniformly pro-abortion, or euphemistically, “pro-choice.” Consumers of news coverage on the subject would have no idea how many self proclaimed feminists are opposed to abortion. ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts’ mother, former Democratic Representative Lindy Boggs of Louisiana, is one of them. A career long proponent of equal rights, Ms. Boggs, who passed away last year at the age of 97, was a staunch opponent of abortion.
Dolores O’Riordan, an Irish musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of Ireland’s alternative rock band the Cranberries surprised Rolling Stone magazine in a cover story interview, telling them, “It’s not good for women to go through the procedure and have something living sucked out of your bodies. It belittles women — even though some women say, ‘Oh, I don’t mind having one.’ Every time a woman has an abortion, it just crushes her self-esteem, smaller and smaller and smaller.”
Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action, outlines the war against unborn women and the women who are susceptible to the subversion of the pro-choice faction:
Liberals are adamant that unregulated, taxpayer-funded, elective abortions at any time during pregnancy is a woman’s right. Yet abortion comes with great risk to a woman and is sometimes accompanied by years of physical, psychological and emotional issues. Keeping a minor girl’s reproductive health information from her parents is dangerous — even medically — for the girl. Opposing parental consent for a minor girl to have an abortion leaves girls at the mercy of abortion clinic staff.
The war on the unborn is not just against unborn women, but against unborn men as well. But in terms of the question of women’s rights, an abortion forecloses any opportunity for the unborn female to vote, to receive an education, and to experience the full spectrum of life and love.
There is no future for a victim of the war against unborn women.