The Suzy B Blog

May 21, 2010
"Sarah Palin's Girl Power"

Unable to attend the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of List Breakfast? Maggie Gallagher, a “leading voice in the new marriage movement,” has authored several books on marriage and social issues while lecturing and writing for  Below is a copy of Maggie’s recently published column titled “Sarah Palin’s Girl Power” – written for – come find out a little more about this powerful message!

Sarah Palin's Girl Power
Maggie Gallagher
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I walked in late for the Susan B. Anthony List breakfast last Friday and, right away, Sarah Palin blew me away.


She hadn't planned to have a special-needs child. She was governor of the state of Alaska with four other children, for goodness sake. The thought of abortion flitted across her consciousness and she remembered God's promise that she could handle whatever He sends her. Sarah Palin says now -- and listening to her it is impossible to disbelieve -- "Trig has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and to the Palin family."

The former GOP vice-presidential candidate is up on stage, rubbing her eyes in imitation of a sleepy toddler: "Trig, in the morning, he'll wake up -- he's 2 years old now -- he'll wake up and he pulls himself up to the top of the crib there. He looks around and he rubs his sleepy little eyes, and even though the day's going to be challenging, he starts applauding."

The audience explodes in appreciative laughter, and Gov. Palin drives the message home: "First thing in the morning, he looks around clapping like, 'Woohoo! What are you going to do with me now?' And I -- oh man, shouldn't we all? That's what we're learning from our boy."

It was an extraordinary speech.

Sarah Palin is something genuinely new on the American scene, and what's more, she clearly knows it.

Palin understands that she is building not just a new political movement, but a new cultural identity. She dubbed it "frontier feminism," and it was the theme she carried through from beginning to end.

She speaks emotionally as a mother, from the heart of motherhood, and she makes it what it should be: a source of power, not an admission of weakness or dependency, and a bond, the deepest bond among women.

She understands quite well the opposition of orthodox feminists and of many elite liberal career women to her sudden emergence as a national figure:

"And I thank the SBA List, too, for being a home to a new conservative feminist movement, is how I look at this. It's an emerging conservative feminist identity. Far too long, when people heard the word 'feminist,' they thought of the faculty lounge at some East Coast women's college, right? And no offense to them, they have their opinions and their voice, and God bless them; they're just great."

She pauses.

"But that's not the only voice of women in America. I'd like to remind people of another feminist tradition, kind of a western feminism. It's influenced by the pioneering spirit of our foremothers, who went in wagon trains across the wilderness, and they settled in homesteads. And these were tough, independent pioneering mothers, whose work was as valuable as any man's on the frontier. ... They went where no woman had gone before."

A speech that began with women as "mama grizzlies" defending their children's economic interests ("My kid is not your ATM") ends with a call for a new kind of feminism:

"As an Alaskan woman, I'm proud to consider myself a frontier feminist like those early pioneering women of the West.

"Now, maybe my jumping on the national stage was a bit of a shock to some people," Palin went on. "I know that some left-wing feminists, they sure didn't know what to make of an Alaskan chick out there talking about ... the Second Amendment and talking about raising family and kids -- the more the merrier -- and, you know, all that."

She proceeded to thank one of the largest and most effective pro-life organizations in the country, the Susan B. Anthony List, named for a key 19th-century leader who opposed abortion. "I'm grateful to have a place like this, full of sisters who are not put off by a gun-toting, pro-life mom of a fun, full family -- never dull."

Women can do anything. We can bear children under less than ideal circumstances. Like Sarah and her "strong and independent" daughter Bristol. 2010, Sarah Palin announced exuberantly, is the year "when commonsense conservative women get things done for our country."

I don't know if it's true or not. But I'll tell you one thing: Sarah Palin had me at the word "Trig."


Copyright © 2010 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

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May 20, 2010
Carly Fiorina: "I'm a Real Pro-Life Candidate"

This week, SBA List endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate in California, Carly Fiorina sat down with CBN News' David Brody to discuss the race.

What did she have to say about her SBA List endorsement and protecting unborn lives?

“I think Susan B. Anthony realizes I’m a real pro-life candidate and people who care about the sanctity of life want a candidate who can win because whether or not voters of California agree with me the vast majority of them disagree with Barbara Boxer on this issue. Barbra Boxer believes in any abortion any time, anywhere during any stage of pregnancy including late term and she believes that taxpayers should pay for it. Most Californians do not agree with that extreme view.”

What's more? Latest poll results from the Public Policy Institute of California have Carly (24%) in the lead over both of her male opponents, Tom Campbell (23%) and Chuck Devore (16%). Go Carly Go!

Carly on receiving the endorsement of the SBA List:



On winning:

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May 20, 2010
Setting the Record Straight on Susan B. Anthony

This op-ed ran on the "On Faith" blog at The Washington Post today.

Susan B. Anthony: Pro-life feministSBA older years for blog
By Marjorie Dannenfelser
president, Susan B. Anthony List

Two Susan B. Anthony scholars, Ann Gordon and Lynn Sherr, think they've struck at the heart of the pro-life argument: the Susan B. Anthony List's ignorance of who its namesake actually was. Citing a lack of documentation of the suffragists' stance on abortion, the authors concluded that Anthony was, "instead," pro-women's rights - in the Hillary Clinton-era sense of the term - or, at best, that abortion was nowhere on her radar.

The argument is unfounded on many levels, but foremost, on the credibility issue.

Susan B. Anthony was passionate and logical in her arguments against abortion. The Revolution was her brainchild, co-founded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a weekly women's rights newspaper that acted as the official voice of the National Woman Suffrage Association and in which appeared many of her writings alongside those of her like-minded colleagues. Most logical people would agree, then, that writings signed by "A" in a paper that Anthony funded and published were a reflection of her own opinions.

In one house editorial, signed "A", she wrote: "Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who... drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!" [The Revolution, 4(1):4 July 8, 1869]

Further, as one becomes familiar with Anthony's compatriots and their thoughts on the issue, it is clear and consistent that these early women leaders did not believe abortion was a good thing for women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton lamented, "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." [Letter to Julia Ward Howe, October 16, 1873]

In Anthony's The Revolution, Stanton referred to abortion as "infanticide." [1(5):1, February 5, 1868]
Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, told a newspaper of the day that "Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth." [Wheeling, West Virginia Evening Standard, November 17, 1875]

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician, recorded in her diary her thoughts about Madame Restell, an early New York abortionist. She said, "The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term 'female physician' should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women." [1845]

All of this went on-record at a time when abortion wasn't even a hot political issue of the day. Even those doctors practicing abortion had to disguise what they advertised as a service to restore a woman's regular menstrual cycle. Abortion simply wasn't up for debate at a time when society itself was firmly against the practice.

So, while the Life cause isn't the issue that earned Susan B. Anthony her stripes in American history books, historians would be wrong to conclude that Anthony was agnostic on the issue of abortion.
Anthony understood that fighting for women included the rights of her unborn child.

Over time, "feminism" became the label adopted by activists preaching that women's rights and abortion rights were somehow one and the same. For years, too many feminists have told women facing a crisis pregnancy the only way to continue a successful life is to have an abortion.

But recently, there has been a shift back to the traditional roots of a Susan B. Anthony feminism that empowers women through their strength to give life even in the most difficult and unexpected circumstances. In recent Gallup polling, more and more women self-label themselves "pro-life" over "pro-choice." More and more pro-life women run for public office.

Many conservative commentators have hailed this "new feminism," the rising majority of women who reject the radical feminism of the 1960's and use traditionally "feminist" issues, such as abortion, to herald in a new era of women's rights. This new wave of excitement is poised to elect true pro-life women to Congress, and the Susan B. Anthony List is looking forward to November to usher in these leaders who understand that the rights of one are not built on the broken backs of another.

And, in case there's still lingering doubt about where Susan B. Anthony's convictions lie, her words to Frances Willard in 1889 speak for themselves: "Sweeter even than to have had the joy of children of my own has it been for me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them."

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