This week, the anti-Trump organization Women’s March held a nationwide demonstration, “A Day Without a Woman,” encouraging women to skip work to protest for “women’s rights.”
But Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser and Counselor to the President KellyAnne Conway prove this particular brand of feminism isn’t nearly as pro-woman as it is pro-abortion. In fact, Women’s March aligns itself with a powerful movement that regularly excludes and neglects women who fail the litmus test of radical pro-abortion advocacy.
Asked about Women’s March excluding pro-life women, Marjorie Dannenfelser offered Catholic Vote an important insight: Even moderate pro-choice women will likely take issue with Women’s March’s extreme position on abortion.
Dannenfelser says even women participating in Wednesday’s demonstration are likely less extreme than the organizers. “What I find ironic is the probability that most women participating reject the extreme agenda of this movement,” she said. “At a minimum, it is almost certain that they reject [abortion] after 20 weeks.”
“But then the pro-abortion feminist movement will use their attendance as a sign that women support their abortion agenda.”
Don’t Get Used by Big Abortion
KellyAnne Conway shows us a better way to advocate for women. Last week, the Catholic wife and mother of two took a demeaning sexual joke at her expense, and turned it into a victory for for the pro-life cause. All of us, especially young women, should learn from Conway’s clever brand of jiu jitsu.
It all started in the Oval Office at the White House, where President Donald Trump held a meeting with the presidents of Historically Black Colleges. Conway was present, and helpfully took a group photo. In order to get a good shot of the gathering, she positioned herself on a couch and leaned back. (See below. Source: Breitbart News)
Mainstream commentators went wild over the fact that Conway had her feet on the couch. But the next day, Democratic Louisiana representative Cedric Richmond overplayed his hand. The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson reports Richmond’s sneering remarks:
“I really just want to know what was going on there, because, you know, I won’t tell anybody. And you can just explain to me that circumstance, because she really looked kind of familiar in that position there. But, don’t answer, and I don’t want you to refer back to the 1990s,” Democratic Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond said at a Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner on Wednesday.
The insult was most loudly and immediately denounced by conservative women, and uneasily ignored by most Democrat leaders.
Conway’s response was perfect. Asked whether she believed the media would have defended her against Richmond’s sexist joke if she were a liberal, she deflected attention away from partisan politics and opted for a laser-focused pro-life response: “…[It] is not just if I were a liberal woman, but if I were a pro-abortion one.”
Conway later Tweeted that the “so-called sisterhood” was “alarmingly silent” about Richmond’s “sexist, unfunny joke.” The next day, when Chelsea Clinton came through and called the insulting joke “despicable,” Conway responded graciously. She thanked Clinton, but also took the opportunity to once again point up the value of motherhood, suggesting that “moms” should stick up for one another.
Conway is right: bigotry against mothers and pro-life women is mainstream
Cedric Richmond isn’t the only person to blame. After Conway innocently took the group photo in the oval office, the mainstream media could have published reports and commentary about the friendly White House meeting with black leaders. Instead, many media outlets spent their energies producing lurid reports about Conway’s posture on the Oval Office couch.
The media even went out of their way to use a picture of Conway that obscured the context of her taking a group photo. In report after report, she was simply pictured resting on her haunches on the couch (between takes). As HeatStreat’s Ian Miles Cheong pointed out, the uniformity of the media reactions was an example of what a coordinated narrative looks like:
Meanwhile, Marjorie Dannenfelser discovered that a powerful opinion-shaping institution like Twitter.com may also be in the business of pushing pro-abortion narratives and excluding pro-life women.
For International Women’s Day, Dannenfelser decided to promote a Tweet with a pro-life quotation from Mother Teresa: “Abortion is profoundly anti-woman. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”
Dannenfelser received a note from the “Twitter Ads Team.” She would not be allowed to promote the Tweet, because it violated Twitter’s policy regulating the “promotion of health and pharmaceutical products and services.”
This is absolutely absurd, since Twitter regularly features abortion-related promoted Tweets, including ads from Planned Parenthood.
Women’s March, and the Pro-Abortion Movement in General: In for a Rude Awakening?
For powerful organizations to exclude pro-life women doesn’t just mean those organizations are pro-abortion. It also means that they are depriving themselves of would-be allies. “[The Women’s March] organizers specifically exclude pro life women from involvement on other issues they purport to advance,” Dannenfelser told Catholic Vote.
Aside from the fact that this is bad PR (what can be said for a movement that would rather fight pro-life women than, say, fight sex trafficking alongside them?), blackballing mothers and pro-life women may be a self-destructive problem inherent to the pro-abortion movement.
After all, at the heart of abortion advocacy is the belief that motherhood is an injustice, a burden that women should refuse to bear. But as Conservative Review‘s Carly Hoilman (an expectant mother herself) recently wrote, “to claim that motherhood is a barrier to living a full life is to ignore the stories of countless women and families whose lives were enriched by this unique call to sacrifice.”