I’m sure I disagree with Gary Bauer on a bunch of things, but I’ve always admired both his sincerity and his intellect. Last week, he spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life gala in Washington. Melinda Henneberger reported in her Washington Post piece on the event:
“In the party of Lincoln and Reagan and much of the donor class,’’ said another speaker, Gary Bauer, “the defense of human life is what they think loses elections.” Instead, cracked Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, a political action group supporting conservative congressional candidates, “they think we need to spend time on really popular ideas, like cutting your mom’s Social Security check.”
Sure, it’s a little unfair to a bunch of economic conservatives, who aren’t exactly eager to cut entitlements; but we have to admit that the pro-lifers and other social conservatives have been unfairly scapegoated for the GOP’s recent electoral failures, so a little pushback of this kind is not unwarranted. Nice line.
Henneberger also reports the following:
There was a deep conviction among supporters at the dinner, many of whom were in from out of town, that opposing abortion is a feminist cause. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the group, which has a PAC that she said will spend about $10 million in support of antiabortion candidates this year, put her life’s work in league with “the suffrage and the abolition and the child labor movements.”
This is one of the most positive political developments of recent years: the mainstream acceptance within the pro-life movement that feminism and the defense of the unborn are not just not contradictory, but actually belong together. Never mind the fact that somewhere around 50 percent of the unborn who are aborted in the United States are female; the idea that the equal dignity of women as human persons is implicated with the permissibility of killing other human persons is a threat to the intellectual credibility of that gender equality. Someday, sooner rather than later, the unborn will be protected by law in this country. When that happens, I don’t want the absolute equality of women to be discarded as a relic of the bygone Abortion Age. It’s long past time that American culture got over the notion that being pro-abortion-rights is intellectually consistent with being pro-woman.