Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

2010 Elections and Pro-Life Women: A Correction for Modern Feminism

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
The 2010 elections represent not just a good result for pro-life female candidates, but a good result for all women. The reason is simple: Since 1992, which liberal groups dubbed the Year of the Woman, elected women in Congress have represented the views of pro-choice activists, not the views of American women.
On November 2, that imbalance dramatically shifted toward the pro-life side of the scale, and it is just the beginning. More than sheer numbers are involved, but the numbers alone are compelling. They underscore first and foremost that, as good as this election cycle was for fiscal conservatives, it was every bit as triumphant for female candidates who embrace the right to life.
Consider the profile of the U.S. Congress.
In the session of Congress that just ended, there were 93 women, 17 of them in the Senate. Of these, only 10 have taken a clear pro-life position. This is completely unrepresentative of the views of American women; half or more survey respondents have told the Gallup organization over the past two years that they self-label as "pro-life." Many more women who do not embrace that label oppose the regime of abortion on demand that we have now -- and that most liberals believe -- we should fully fund with tax dollars.
Our political action in 2010 ran wide and deep. The Susan B. Anthony List aided a former state attorney general running for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, two accomplished women running for statewide office in Alabama, a rancher-businesswoman running for the at-large seat in South Dakota, a Hispanic woman running for governor of New Mexico, and the former president of one of the world's largest computer corporations running in California, just to name a few.
All but one of these formidable women won their races, often against better-funded foes. Altogether, 11 pro-choice women, one in the U.S. Senate and 10 in the House, were tossed from office. Kelly Ayotte surged to a Senate victory in New Hampshire with a margin of more than 23 percentage points. The number of pro-life women in the House grew by 70 percent overnight.
The numbers in the states are even more impressive. In addition to governor-elect Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who is already getting mentioned as vice presidential material for 2012, women candidates we endorsed won three other governorships -- in Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Pro-life Nikki Haley broke two layers of glass ceiling in the Palmetto State, becoming the first female governor of Indian-American heritage.
In Florida, pro-life Pam Bondi won her race for attorney general and Jennifer Carroll carried the day in her race for lieutenant governor. The remarkable Carroll was born in Trinidad, served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and was the first black woman Republican elected to the Florida legislature. She will be an effective voice for women and the unborn in Florida and perhaps beyond.
Some pundits are raising an already stale cry that because the total number of women in Congress is smaller now, the voice of women in governance is fading. The truth is that authentic female leadership is soaring. The possibility of service at all levels of government has been dramatically widened beyond the usual "modern feminist" culprits who have dominated debate for far too long. The 2010 elections were extremely good for women at the state and local levels and significantly more representative of women at the national level. More than a mere math exercise, the 2010 election cycle is a corrective moment for the women's movement.
The pioneers of the left deserve credit for opening the way, but far too many of them abandoned the basic premises of Susan B. Anthony and her contemporaries, who wanted equality without shedding their feminine and maternal character. The founding mothers of feminism embraced an authentic balance, seeking public roles, not to cease their advocacy for their children, born and unborn, but to empower and renew it.
It is this kind of authentic feminism that is on the ascendancy. As a result, the raw numbers will resume their climb. The fresh paths blazed on November 2 by Noem and Herrera, Ivey and Adams, Black and Reynolds will be followed by many more.
Come January, the debates in Congress will resume, including the yet-to-be resolved debate over health care that sparked so much of this "correction election." And that debate will include measures to end, once and for all, public funding for abortion and for organizations that promote and perform it.
This time, however, the debate will be not just about women, but among them. And that fact -- Barbara Boxer's nightmare and the fulfillment of a dream for millions of previously unrepresented women -- makes the 2010 elections a welcome change for all Americans.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is President of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nationwide network of over 280,000 pro-life Americans dedicated to advancing, mobilizing and representing pro-life women in the political process.

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.


Filter by:

While the writer is certainly correct that it is excellent that women's views are being equally represented in Congress and in state governorships, there is a tone in the article I don't like. Why does "authentic female leadership" necessarily have to be pro-life? The beginning of the article presents an egalitarian viewpoint, which correctly states that women are fairly evenly divided on the issue of abortion. Thus, shouldn't representation be evenly divided as well? The second half implies that pro-choice women do not adequately represent the views of their fellow women, and that to be a true feminist you must be pro-life. According to the author, pro-choice women betray the ideals of Susan B. Anthony. Does anyone else see a problem with this? If as many women are pro-choice as are pro-life, how can we say that one viewpoint is more legitimate for women than another? Why does being pro-choice make you less a woman?

January 03 2011 at 1:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I consider myself to be a decent, moral person. I have never had a child, though I dearly wanted one, and the cost to adopt was far too high, and ran too much risk of inheriting the mother's physical and emotional problems. 'Pro-Life' feminism is an oxymoron. How can you seriously hope to promote the welfare of women by condemning them to the whims of any male with a knife and a grudge to bear their children without complaint, sacrificing at least a year, if not more of their own lives, in order to produce something that will more than likely be a burden on the system? Foster-home abuses are notorious, and with the increasing strictures on who is 'qualified' to rear these unwanted children. In an idealized world, it would indeed be very good if every child born was a wanted one, but particularly in today's society, far more aberrancies are happening because the child was brought unwillingly into the world, and the world never let them forget it. Let's get our priorities straight, shall we? Let's get some women in who have a genuine sympathy for other women's problems, and don't just project their complacency on someone who may not be ready, willing, or able to bear and care for a baby because they made the mistake of going out with the wrong guy, or just walking home alone.

January 03 2011 at 6:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those who call themselves "pro-life" seem never to note that making abortion illegal is stepping onto a slippery slope. If the government can control the choices women make then the government can also control the choices men make. Equal treatment under the law would demand that the government force men to stop conceiving babies that no one wants. The best way to do that would be to nip their baby making abilities in the bud. So, how about a law that requires the government to force a man who has fathered an unwanted baby to undergo a vasectomy? That means, of course, that every male must have his DNA recorded in government data banks so that when a woman is required to give birth to an infant she does not want the government can find the man who fathered that child and force him to have his vasectomy. After all, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. What goes around, comes around. Seems fair to me.

January 03 2011 at 5:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Those who label themselves "pro-life" have missed a very important point in the position they take. Unless they are atheists, they presumably believe that God created the heavens and earth and all that in them is. It is God, then, who placed in the body of the female the womb that shelters the infant for the first nine months of its existence. It is, apparently, then God's will that the female has the responsibility of making the choices regarding the infant's existence during those nine months. Those who want government to pass laws regarding abortion wish to give to government something that is God's. They would better spend their time and energy elsewhere because there is no law that can stop women from aborting a baby when they have decided to do so. From the beginning of time women have been aborting infants they did not want, were unable to support, or that were forcibly conceived. Unless you wish to confine pregnant woment and force feed them, not government nor any "pro-life" person can stop a woman from aborting an infant. You can only make it impossible for them to do so in a proper medical facility. Laws forbidding government provided health insurance from paying for abortions have no effect on anyone except the less than wealthy. Wealthy women will continue to spend the money to go where abortions are available in medical facilities. Poor women will resort to coat hangers inserted into their vaginas.

January 03 2011 at 5:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I am just curious to know if these "pro lifers" who want to put their laws on our bodies are willing to financially support an unwanted pregnancy and the child and stand by to make sure they are cared for until they are at least 18!

January 03 2011 at 3:16 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Keep your damn hands out of my it's ok to 'make a woman' have a baby if she's been raped or become pregnant from her dad....what the heck is wrong with you so called pro-life dummies....what kind of life is that woman going to have or don't you care about that.

January 03 2011 at 1:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

if the usa is going to be an effective nation in this world of nations we now live in -- it should be a nation of pro-choice and every child born in the usa should be a wanted /planned child - think the above piece is very slanted /biased towards for the pro-life -- i hope that will give the other side - the prochoice side - equal time to respond for such a negative/ poorly compoised piece of work --bb

January 03 2011 at 1:15 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

pro lifers take away peoples rights but do they support these children they save? no!! they let these children grow up in poverty pain and on the welfare system.God gives people a choice to be good or bad but pro lifers think they are better then God and take peoples choices away.until prolifers take these children in raise them at their own exspence then they have NO RIGHT to tell others what to do with their life

January 03 2011 at 12:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

IT'S FUNNY!.....Out of all the people I know that are pro-life.....NOT ONE! Has ever been a foster parent or adoped an unwanted child and TRUST ME! They all could afford to do it! Out of all the people I know who are pro-choice I have 7 friends, 3 couples and a single that are or have been foster parents and have adopted or are in the process. Hmmmmmmm INTERESTING!

January 03 2011 at 12:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

You wish, you keep on telling yourself that and try to believe it. Women have a sense that they control thier destiny and thier decision to have children, your words , if you really even belive what you wrote, are meaningless.

January 03 2011 at 12:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>