New pro-life laws in Georgia and Alabama have elicited predictable responses from pro-abortion activists. Framing the pro-life argument as an attack on women, Alyssa Milano suggested a sex strike, while Linda Sarsour was quick to blame white women for supporting the patriarchy.
With the left’s sacrament of the left under fire, pro-abortion women are trotting out the same old tired arguments, ignoring the reality that millions of women are pro-life, including Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed Alabama’s bill into law. On “The View,” Meghan McCain, one of the few pro-life voices in media,said “[Pro-life] women like me are always left out of the conversation.” Millions of pro-life women seem to be invisible in abortion debates, or worse, they’re labeled “problematic.”
So why are millions of women who don’t see abortion as women’s salvation continually ignored? As I explain in my book, “The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity,” by and large, elite leftist women control the cultural dialogue in this country. The “sisterhood,” or the matriarchy (and the men who march lockstep with them), have a chokehold on all our main cultural currents: the fashion industry, politics, Hollywood, pop music, magazines, book publishing, and the universities. There is scarcely any room for pro-life ideas to seep into the discussion.
This is by design. The matriarchy has acquired a virtual stranglehold on women’s attention, which is why, every January, the March for Life never gets real coverage, only a handful of pro-life women are household names, and details like the risks associated with abortion are scarcely reported.
The sad reality, however, is that pro-lifers haven’t taken these leftist tactics seriously, particularly about how many women absorb the news. Frequently, we make beautifully, well-reasoned arguments, but then the left will get a celebrity to chime in on flashy news shows and the pages of magazines, and our arguments don’t see the light of day. We saw this in in the stem-cell debate that allocated billions of dollars to develop the unethical use of fetal stem cells from aborted babies instead of adult stem cells (that have proven to actually be successful).
We made arguments, and they trotted out Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox. The push for gay marriage and gay adoption followed the same course. We make well-reasoned arguments based on logic and the common good, and they present Ellen Degeneres and her same-sex partner, or Elton John and his partner. They use symbols like pink hats, pink tennis shoes, and wire hangers as visual sound bites.
Magazines have huge potential to engage passively pro-abortion women with visually stunning products. Blogger Glenn Reynolds has been lobbying for years for social conservatives to buy a major magazine. In an autopsy of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Reynolds wrote, “Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s web sites. One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female ‘low-information voters.’ Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.”
As a result, pro-lifers have no chance at swaying these women because we aren’t even in the debate, having settled to remain a caricature in the left’s imagination.
Engaging women the way secular magazines do has the potential to go a long way. Presenting content directed at the many facets of women’s lives—from health, faith, fashion, fitness, travel, and politics—from a pro-life perspective currently doesn’t exist on a broad scale. We have simply settled with letting women (all women, including pro-lifers) get this content from the left.
Naysayers will say we can’t beat the matriarchy at its own game. Perhaps they are right. But for too long, we have let them run roughshod over women, including women who could and should be pro-life. Our well-reasoned arguments are important and compelling, but we have to do more than expect them to be read by wider audiences. We must go out and meet women where the real debate is.