The Corner

Re: Gloria Allred

Dan, Some other things you need to know about Allred (how awesome a name is that for a lefty — All-Red?) can be found in Matt Labash’s 1999 classic piece on Cybill Shepherd’s embryonic abortive  unrealized presidential bid (no link):

Allred, who hosts a Los Angeles radio show, is a publicity tapeworm. She once waged a campaign against Madonna for her song “Papa Don’t Preach,” the saga of an expectant teenage mother who elects to keep her baby. This offended Allred’s pro-abortion sensibility since “it makes having a baby seem very heroic and romantic.” So Allred demanded that Madonna “produce another record supporting a woman’s right to choose abortion.”

It’s a rare bird that can make one root for Madonna. And Allred’s involvement has some Shepherd intimates questioning whether this exploratory phase is just a media ploy by Allred. But Allred insists this is about something more important than publicity. It is about “the issues.” And the primary issue is that “there was no pro-choice candidate” in this race, give or take a Bill Bradley or Al Gore. If you’re choosy about choice, Shepherd is about as pro-choice as they come. She was the traveling ambassador for Voters For Choice. She cut campaign ads attacking Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a pro-choice Republican who wasn’t pro-choice enough. And in 1989, while surveying the crowd at one of the many abortion marches she’s attended, Shepherd told People, “this is the happiest day of my life, except for the days my children were born.”

While Allred freely admits that if Shepherd were to run, abortion “would be her number one issue,” Shepherd is far from being a one-issue candidate. When I ask what other issues are dear to Shepherd, Allred says she’d be extremely vigilant in appointing Supreme Court justices who would protect Roe v. Wade. “Then, of course,” Allred continues, “there’s the issue of terrorism against the clinics.” Shepherd would also ensure there were enough abortion providers. “So she has many, many issues,” promises Allred.

When asked about issues that don’t involve extracting a fetus, Allred brings up women’s health. “Women’s issues don’t get the same kind of funding that male health issues do,” she says, and she’s right. Though prostate cancer and breast cancer kill the same number of people each year, breast cancer research receives six times the funding of prostate cancer research.

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