Last week was an exhilarating one for advocates of women and their unborn children. In a desperate attempt to regain territory they lost as a result of the rousing March for Life and the new focus on adoption and late-term abortion, liberal voices tried to resuscitate their “war on women” meme. Their target? Comments by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee about the Obama Administration’s obsession with mandating “reproductive health care” coverage nationwide.
Gov. Huckabee’s point was simple. American women are proud and strong and by no means uniform in their views. They do not equate health care with abortion or abortion-inducing drugs and speaking as if they do – even valuing these things above moral and religious liberty – gravely insults them. Taking his quote not merely out of context, but to the opposite context, leading Democrats accused Huckabee of expressing the kind of patronizing attitude he was actually criticizing.
The Obama Administration’s condescension towards women was first exposed during the debate over health care, when a “preventive services mandate” was added to the law without debate over its implications for forcing American women, including business owners, into plans with abortion coverage.
In 2012 the Obama campaign made its philosophical underpinnings clear when it released the notorious “Life of Julia” propaganda video. This portrait of a woman’s life course seemingly had no other purpose than to underscore the impossibility of female success without massive federal programs that cater to her every wish. School, work, childrearing, aging – all of these stages in a woman’s life are doomed to fail if Uncle Sam isn’t there to guide her steps.
Last Wednesday, President Obama insulted American women more directly. While tens of thousands of young women braved the bitter cold at the March for Life to protest the 55 million lives lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade, Obama asserted that abortion on-demand (he was too squeamish to use the phrase) is necessary for women to have the “freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.” As a statement of fact, this is simply false, as the lives of women leaders both before and after 1973 make clear.
But it’s time American women had a conversation about what exactly this implies. Why must women, unlike men, make a fatal choice between their children and their achievements? Why must women stifle the dreams of their daughters and sons to fulfill their own? What does it say about a society that tells women they can have a glittering future, but they cannot take all of their children with them? It is a form of Sophie’s Choice.