The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) recently announced a new national campaign to elect women who oppose abortion, showing how much the group’s mission has shifted over the past several years from electing “pro-life” women to supporting many anti-choice men.
In a June 10 press release, the SBA List declared that “the National Pro-life Women’s Caucus will foster community between pro-life women lawmakers across the country, and connect them with the resources they need to pass pro-life laws. The Caucus will also actively encourage and recruit pro-life women to run for higher office.”
The fact that the group had to make a special announcement about supporting “pro-life” women candidates shows just how far the organization has veered over the last few years. When it was founded in 1992, the SBA List positioned itself as a sort of conservative, anti-choice counterpart to EMILY’s List, the political action group that recruits and supports pro-choice candidates for office.
That facet of the SBA List’s work waned during the 2010 and 2012 elections, when the group began endorsing and campaigning on behalf of male Republican candidates, many of whom were running against women supported by EMILY’s List. In fact, ousting women from office and replacing them with male politicians is part of the group’s official plank. As a NARAL Pro-choice America/American Bridge research memo on the group, published last April, part of the SBA List’s six-point mission is to “[e]lect pro-life women or pro-life men who oppose pro-abortion women.” In other words, the group believes that it’s OK to have fewer women as elected officials if that means that there are fewer pro-choice politicians as a result.
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