January 14th, 2014 by Nicole
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and other key House Democrats have issued a memo to House Republicans purporting to offer tips on “how to better communicate with women on the issues important to them.” In reality, this memo revolves around abortion – though, of course, they substitute their own euphemisms whenever possible. Given that communicating with our state’s U.S. Congressional delegation on issues like religious freedom has proven, in my prior experience, to be about as easy as getting a Buckingham Palace guard to laugh, I would like to counter-offer some tips on how to talk to constituents who do not subscribe to the abortion-on-demand agenda. Actually, less talk and more listening would be nice.
Tip #1: Do not assume that, because we happen to be endowed with the attributes of the female sex, we are all in agreement about values and priorities. Echo chambers rot your mind; groupthink is creepy.
Tip #2: Don’t use us, as though we were human shields for your bad policies.
Tip #3: Know how utterly transparent it is when you pretend a partisan jab is somehow taking the high road.
Tip #4: Most pertinent of all, do not quote us out of context to try to make yourselves look better. You will get busted and end up looking more foolish…
…which is precisely what the House Democrats accomplished with their misleading spin job on law professor Helen Alvaré’s testimony asking Congress to take federal funding for abortion off the table for good. We at FIC are fans of Alvaré’s pro-life work on the Women Speak for Themselves project, and quite a few eyebrows were raised at the memo’s suggestion that this smart and articulate woman would have “admitted” anything close to agreement with our Congresswoman’s well-known, sanguine opposition to reasonable restrictions on abortion that, as it turns out, are popular among women. We reached out to Alvaré, who responded to the House Democrats’ claims:
While I’m delighted I have support from anyone – Republicans and Democrats alike — for “policies supporting women’s care work, or work/family balance, policies addressing paid leave or social security benefits,” and policies allowing “poor women especially to break the cycle of poverty and non marital childbearing,” I’m disappointed to see my words quoted outside their full context. They were delivered as part of Congressional testimony on the necessity of DEfunding abortion because of what abortion is, and because of how it hurts women. Some are using them to suggest that all pro-life legislative debates detract from a women’s policy agenda. What a misuse! Those words followed 1800 prior words demonstrating women’s objection to abortion funding, and the federal government’s continual acknowledging that access to abortion is not a women’s health concern.
Hear, hear! As our pro-life neighbors in New York also point out, nine out of ten planks of the “Women’s Equality Act” are being held hostage to Gov. Cuomo’s baffling insistence on expanding abortion in a state that could hardly need it any less.
If House Democrats really want to quit wasting time, a good way to start would be by reinstating the Mexico City Policy (prohibits federal funding of groups that promote abortion overseas) and permanently codifying the Hyde Amendment (greatly restricts domestic funding of abortion). We have not forgotten that the repeal of the former was one of President Obama’s first acts in office, and have little doubt that the latter would have been toast years ago were it up to many New England liberal Democrats. It is my fondest hope that one day our representatives will realize the harm they have done and become champions of both women and their babies, the defenders of the oppressed that they are truly meant to be. Congressfolk: I still believe you have it within you, and I am not ready to give up on you! In the meantime, expect us to keep our vigilance high and the pressure on.