Monday, September 3, 2012

"Abortion Care" Trumps "Child Care" at Democratic National Convention [Updated]

    On August 20, just as the Todd Akin "legitimate rape"/abortion story was beginning to break, the Charlotte Observer had a fascinating article which the Daily Caller picked up the next day about the lack of child care at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.  (As far as I can tell, there were no formal arrangements for childcare at the RNC gathering in Tampa in August either.)   A press release titled "National Organization for Women Denounces Democratic National Convention for Discrimination Against Moms" from four local chapters in Southern California of the National Organization for Women (NOW) ripped into the organizers of the convention.  Gloria Steinem, the godmother of the feminist movement, led off with this astounding statement:
Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women. It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.
Several other women are quoted in the release as well, suggesting the Democrats have pre-1920s policies in place regarding women and children, and calling on the DNC to make changes to support "true family values."
    While some may find it remarkable that these statements were made in the first place, what might be even more remarkable is where have these statements gone?  The only place I can find the press release I linked to above is at the Online With Zoe blog.  Three of the four chapters of NOW listed on the press release have their own websites, but there is no mention on the issue on any of them (Hollywood, Pacific Shore, and Palm Springs,) nor on NOW's national website.
    What is going on?  Did the Southern California sisterhood not check with the national organization before launching its attack?  Did the national organization feel that a statement such as "It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist" would look incongruous next to its own August 21 press release calling for "Romney and Ryan to Renounce Republican Party Platform Policy on Abortion Care"? [emphasis mine]  Perhaps this August 22, 2012 headline and story from ABC News is no coincidence:
DNC Set to Feature Sandra Fluke, Pro-Abortion Rights Activists in Charlotte
Democrats today unveiled a list of 10 new activists and politicians – all women – scheduled to speak at the party’s grand gathering in Charlotte, N.C...
Headlining the Democrats’ group is Georgetown Law grad Sandra Fluke...
The old guard will be represented in Charlotte, too, as Nancy Keenan, the president of the country’s longest active abortion-rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice America, has also accepted an invitation to speak.
“As I stand on stage at the convention, I will amplify your pro-choice voices,” Keenan wrote in a blog post today. “I’m proud that the Democratic Party is again reaffirming its commitment to protect women’s reproductive rights through the party platform, and by choosing so many pro-choice speakers for the convention.” 
 As the Todd Akin fiasco drew attention back to the abortion debate, the objections of Gloria Steinem (who is not on the list of speakers at the convention) and her Southern California sisters may have fallen victim to the larger pro-choice cause.  Their little war-on-women by the DNC doesn't rate next to the GOP's War on Women, which more and more appears to be the defining issue for the Democrats upcoming convention.  It remains to be seen if the local NOW groups will try to raise the issue again, or meekly accept their fate under the pro-choice bus.

Update:  I found the press release on the Pacific Shore NOW website.  It was posted on September 4th.   It links to a petition here titled: "Petitioning Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Stop Discrimination Against Moms with Young Children at the Convention."  As of Thursday morning, the petition, needing 900 signatures, was still 60 short.

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