First, the Susan B. Anthony List said they supported female candidates who were against abortion. Then, they decided they would rather support male Republican candidates who opposed abortions, even over female Democratic candidates who were also anti-choice.
Now, they’re pretty much giving up on the whole “anti-choice” thing all together.
Susan B. Anthony List has decided to become a key player in the 2012 presidential election, despite the glaring lack of viable anti-choice women to back. The group asked all GOP primary recipients to sign a pledge that they were committed to everything from “only selecting pro-life appointees” for judicial and cabinet postings, to promoting a federal “fetal pain” ban that would make abortion illegal anywhere from 18 to 20 weeks, depending on what piece of legislation they use, to promising to de-fund Planned Parenthood, even though no tax dollars can be used there to fund abortions.
As SBA notes on their pledge page, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney never signed, and both the the group and the other presidential candidates made certain to reiterate that fact repeatedly on the campaign trail.
But now that the primary campaign is essentially over, the “pro-life, pro-women” group that toured around the country trying to get votes for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is now coming out with an endorsement of the one candidate left in the race that didn’t agree to their demands.
“Now is the time to unite behind Governor Romney in order to defeat the most ideologically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, said via statement. “The SBA List is proud to endorse Governor Romney and plans to spend $10 to $12 million in senate and presidential battleground states mobilizing pro-life voters to ensure victory.”
“Women deserve a president who truly respects our views on an issue so central to womanhood. A President Romney will be that man.”
But wait? Isn’t this the same group that justified supporting an anti-choice Republican man over an anti-choice Democratic woman on the grounds that her vote for health care reform shows she wasn’t anti-choice enough? How can the group now support a candidate who “Provided for tax-payer funded abortions in RomneyCare, appointed a notorious pro-abortion judge and enforced a law that required Catholic hospitals to perform abortions”?
Oh, yes. Because he’s going to be the Republican nominee.
So does this signify that Romney will pursue the extreme, anti-choice positions that most of the general election voters don’t want, like cutting off affordable access to birth control, prohibiting abortions in the case of fetal anomalies, or allowing all people access to affordable health insurance? Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, thinks so.
“So much for the idea that Romney will try to move to the middle in the general election. If he thought he had problems with women voters before, today’s news only makes it worse,” Keenan said. “One of the major groups behind the War on Women is now rewarding Romney for supporting policies that would undermine women’s freedom and privacy at every turn. Romney wants to outlaw abortion and take away personal, private decisions from women and their doctors. We are happy to contrast his positions with those of President Obama’s. We will continue to remind voters, especially a key block of women voters in battleground states, that Romney’s extreme views are out of touch with our country’s values and priorities.”
The fact that Susan B. Anthony List has decided to put party loyalty over their original mission of supporting women candidates and/or unequivocally anti-choice candidates doesn’t surprise those at EMILY’s List, a political group that assists the campaigns of exclusively pro-choice, female candidates.
“Trying to support both women and policies that hurt women is a tough trick to pull off. I don’t blame anyone for abandoning it,” said Jess McIntosh, Deputy Communications Director for EMILY’s List. “Women this year are looking to candidates who understand their concerns and have the right priorities. EMILY’s List is proud to continue to support women – the women we’ve helped elect are the ones standing up to the right and working to build a more progressive America.”
The Susan B. Anthony List gave up their claim to support women candidates long ago. Now they are trying to work around their claim that they can only support the most “pro-life” of candidates. When will they just admit what they really are: an arm of the Republican party that just misuses the name of one of the most well-known crusaders for women’s rights in the country.