Have We Lost Our Minds?

I have never understood the anger some pro-choicers direct at me or the organization I direct, Republicans for Choice PAC (RFC). When we do anything a different way you would think that we are out there with the anti-choice extremists. These outraged pro-choice activists need to calm down. Differences on how to do things is one of the reasons different groups have developed.

These critics act like we are helping James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes, Ann Coulter and others in the GOP who truly are trying to keep women barefoot and perpetually pregnant. They're quick to judge us without asking any questions. How sad. Our real enemies take advantage of this weakness. We need to work together, not take shots at others on our side.

Recently we posted a message on our website that appeared to "endorse" McCain without using those words. We didn't use those words because it was not an endorsement. We do not endorse anyone who is not pro-choice and Republican. That is our mission. But after again reading the language we posted I could see why there was confusion — that was our fault.

Let me tell you what we posted and why we did it.

Our working Board was anxious to make sure by echoing Giuliani on McCain that our folks would not vote for Romney in the upcoming primaries.

The original language on our position on McCain was posted before Romney dropped out. We worried our supporters might remember the old pro-choice Romney as a progressive Republican candidate for Governor of Massachusetts; not the snake-in-the-grass anti-choice candidate who flip-flopped and sold us out to win a few caucuses. We wanted to remind our members and supporters McCain was their second choice, after Giuliani, when we surveyed our membership.

This posting has to do with the primary phase of this campaign; the general election is a different matter.

Why would our membership have any reason even to make McCain their second choice?

Take a look at what Ann Coulter has written about McCain's "pro-life" positions. If you are pro-choice, you have to watch with glee at the meltdown she is having over McCain as the presumed Republican nominee. She is apoplectic that McCain labels himself "pro life" and has voted for stem cell research and is against the so-called Human Life Amendment.

So should we try to reach out and work with McCain? Yes. That is part of our job as partisans for Choice. Do we think he will be with us on everything? No — he called for the overturn of Roe. Now we need to make sure he does not lift a finger to help do that.

I have no way of knowing your background on politics as you read this, and I don't know what your frame of reference is. Let me give you some information so you understand our frame of reference.

I personally have worked in over 450 campaigns worldwide and in 10 presidential campaigns. Many others in my group have similar backgrounds. We understand the inside game and have made some minor progress inside the Republican Party as well as in state legislative and initiative battles and several other fronts.

Yes, I believe that things could have been worse in the GOP if RFC had never existed.

Our group was the only pro-choice group, partisan or otherwise, that called it right on Supreme Court Justice David Souter: that he was going to be with us.

Our information on Republican partisans is much more extensive than most people would have access to.

Does that mean we will endorse and work for McCain in the general election? Let me repeat: we only endorse and work for pro-choice Republican candidates. Unless McCain undergoes a conversion in the coming days the answer to that is a resounding "No."

Now we need to work to insure that Romney, Huckabee or any other anti-choice activist is not McCain's choice for vice president. Can we insure his running mate won't be anti-choice? Not yet. But I think we do have a strong case to be made that in the twenty-first century this vice presidential nominee should at least believe in evolution. We will start there and work our way up to the best possible VP nominee who will support women and their rights.

Why bother to try and influence who else is on the GOP ticket? My years of experience tell me that no matter how the Republicans' prospects for success in the general election look right now, things will change many times before November. Look at how unpredictable this election cycle has been so far! So we need to try and make sure someone who believes in women and will work on the inside to protect their rights makes it on the ticket — just in case.

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  • scott-swenson


    Thanks for this piece and your work to bring common sense to your party on the importance of liberty, privacy and an individual’s rights to make his or her own health decisions. We know it has been a tough and lonely fight within the GOP. We appreciate you bringing a Republicans for Choice voice to RH Reality Check and look forward to more articles from you and your colleagues.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • http://oldwhiteguy.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Kind of an erotic image here. Nevertheless, I am 100% pro choice, but as an adoptive father I pray that women who are in that blessed state choose life. I don’t feel I can tell anyone what to do; I can only tell you how much I love the son that was given to me by the selfless and loving act of his birth mother. I like the choice she made.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not even going to go into all the things wrong with pro-choice AKA pro-abortion, or the RFC.
    What I will attack here is the notion that “James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes, Ann Coulter and others in the GOP who truly are trying to keep women barefoot and perpetually pregnant.”
    Have you even read their books? Do you even know their stances?
    Thy aren’t against women or trying to keep them oppressed. They are simply standing up for basical Christian vlaues like oh I don’t know…Thou Shalt not Murder!
    Let’s keep the name dropping out of this here. The least you could do is not make people who just express their views out to be abortion clinic bombers. Those are the real extremists.

  • harry834

    anti-abortion laws do require pregnancy against the will of the pregnant. So yes, anti-abortion positions are consistent with keeping women "barefoot and pregnant".


  • invalid-0

    since when did special interest groups lobbying the government to deprive people of life choices become a Christian “value”?

  • invalid-0

    Let’s try to get a correct analysis here. No pro-life person is encouraging any liberal to engage in rampant procreation. Have the baby that you irresponsibly conceived. Give him or her to a great conservative family that will raise your child rightly. Go back to your self-centered life. Quit having children.

  • invalid-0

    I think it was the Holocaust. No, wait, it was slavery. No, no it was Saint Telemachus. Or maybe it was the prophets taking on baal in part to eliminate child sacrifice. Anyway it was before McCain-Feingold.

  • harry834

    combined with the imagined easy-answer of enduring that pregnancy, spending your life, and magically finding an adoptive family, like Juno did in the yellow pages.

    The thousands of children in foster care tell a different story.

    And the moral of "quit having children" is what most women do after an abortion, even though you have such a heartless view of these women.

    I hope you support birth control then, because pro-life organizations don't.

  • harry834

    when you call women who have abortions self-centered, do you include the pro-life women who leave a picket line for a day, get an abortion, say to the doctor "this isn't like me", and go back out to protest as if nothing had happened?

    And no, their pro-life friends group don't always catch them. And I doubt these women are willing to "fess up". For some reason, they expect a hostlile reaction.

    Lots of pro-lifers beliving the delusion that their side has no "self-centered women", other than the regretful ones with signs. Is blindless to human experience around you part of the membership requirement? Or are you guys on the "don't ask, dont tell" policy?


  • invalid-0

    Are you aware there was once a day when people took personal responsibility for their actions? When if people made a mistake they dealt with it, paid the price and moved on? That was back before we began victimizing ourselves.

    I have great compassion for women going through an unplanned pregnancy. My compassion toward them does not lead me to the conclusion that they should be able to kill their child.

    I’m not getting the Juno connection. It’s a movie right? It’s not real life. Really it’s not… Waitlists to adopt newborns are a mile long. And many couples can’t even get on them.

    • invalid-0

      hmmm…paid the price. Sounds to me like the Christian ideas that sex outside of marraige is evil, and so a baby is punishment for those damn sluts. Not to mention the ridicule, shame, and condemnation heaped on her by so many people. There isn’t much to deny there, seeing as how when a women gets an abortion you condemn her, and when she keeps the baby she doesn’t get so much as a ‘good job’ before she’s condemned for being pregnant in the first place.
      On another note, do you realize that the price she pays is the increased chance of poverty, getting into bad or even abusive relationships just to provide the child with a father, huge financial burden, the pain and risk to herself of childbirth, and basically being a slave to this little person for the first 18 years of life. Also she will have to deal with aforementioned ridicule shame etc for herself and deal with her child’s questions and issues. Plus, there is no ‘moving on’ that you so blithely drop in there from this much stuff. This is what is required to punish someone for enjoying and sharing pleasure with another person? Excuse me if it seems a little unbalanced.
      And your personal opinion on what these women should and shouldn’t do is irrelevant. Have enough compassion to believe that they can make their own decisions. For some women it’s the right choice. For some it’s not. But your having an opinion does not entitle you to declare them unable to make their own decisions and take away their choice.

  • invalid-0

    I talk about any woman who puts herself above the life she conceived. It is not natural. Women lay down their lives for their progeny, not kill their children to make their own lives better or easier. Self-centered people are concerned with their own interests.

    This is your argument so far:
    1. We can’t place women under the heavy weight of trying to magically find an adoptive couple and
    2. Somewhere at some time a pro-life woman got an abortion so that invaidates all pro-life positions.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks for this post, Ann. I think it raises many questions in addition to answering a few very important ones, but most importantly, I believe that we would do well to heed your message about embracing diverse perspectives. So long as we are all working toward the goal of preserving and expanding reproductive choice, we make ourselves stronger – not weaker – by buidling robust, broad-ranging coalitions.

  • elizabeth-0
    Ann — It was really interesting to hear about your organization, which I hadn't heard of before. And it's nice to hear different political voices committed to pro-choice values, so thanks, RHRC, for getting it out there that not all Republicans are anti-choice. 
  • invalid-0

    Because I don’t see what McCain-Feingold has to do with it. Except to stop the habit some special interest groups had of hiding behind misleading names when sending out their attack ads.
    Lobbying the government to take away the right to choose contraception, or not have a child is the life choices I was discussing.

  • invalid-0

    A large percentage of women who get abortions already have kids, or they go on to have kids in the future. They abort because one more child would send them even deeper into poverty; or because they realize they are too young to bear a child. They feel it is wrong to make the children they have, or their future children suffer. For personal reasons known only to them, these women don’t see adoption as an option.
    Besides, everyone on this planet, at some point in their lives, has been self centered. It is human nature. But your position disregards this reality. Ironically you show how self centered your argument is by claiming women must live by an artificial constraint.

  • invalid-0

    of taking responsibility for their actions. Just because you don’t like it does not mean women are “running away” from their responsiblities. My compassion for women facing an unwanted pregnancy leads me to the conclusion I must trust each woman to make the right choice for her.

  • http://www.monopolymaster.com invalid-0

    I hope you will have the time to update your site more often… I really enjoy it.