When Roe v. Wade was overturned, a pro-choice activist named Zoe Warren quickly went viral for an asinine rant. Using typical leftist talking points, Warren claimed it was outrageous that the Democratic National Committee was asking her for money to fight for abortion because her rights shouldn’t be a fundraising point.
Warren’s balderdash went on to invoke the oft-repeated lie that Democrats have had 50 years to codify Roe. Both of these points are mistaken.
First, Warren may not want to donate to retain bodily autonomy, but pro-life women have donated immensely to stop “infanticide” without a second thought and thus they display a level of political competency Warren lacks.
Indeed, conservatives have fund-raised nonstop off of saving “fetal life” since Ronald Reagan without regard for what “baby murderers” think. I’m sure many pro-life women are secretly angry they had to fight so hard as they believe the life of a fetus should be protected inherently without any additional action. Nevertheless, pro-life women understood in 1973 that if they wanted to stop what they perceive to be en masse infanticide they would have to fight for this reality politically. Pro-life women did exactly that, raising Republicans millions.
If the Democratic National Committee complied with Warren’s brouhaha, the result would be pro-choice liberals being borderline impecunious during election cycles where abortion is the primary fundraising issue, whereas pro-life conservatives would have a massive war chest ready to dominate the airwaves unopposed. And thanks to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, money buys votes more than ever.
Like Warren, there are plenty of pro-choice voters who decline to back pro-choice political parties, but pro-life women seldom demonstrate such shortsightedness. This is why their views are public policy, and Warren’s views aren’t.
Roe was established in 1973 when Richard Nixon was president, and he was not in favor of abortion with certain exceptions. Nixon was ultimately forced out and replaced with Gerald Ford who said, among other things, “I support the Republican platform which calls for a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortions.”
Jimmy Carter said, “I think abortion is wrong.” Next, we had Reagan for eight years.
Yes, when Warren says Democrats had 50 years to codify Roe, she is including the Reagan Revolution as an opportunity for Democrats.
Next was George Bush Sr. Afterward, we had Bill Clinton, but we did not have 60 Democrats in the Senate, meaning any pro-choice bill likely would have been filibustered. Then-senate minority leader Bob Dole asserted as much when he said, “Until the day comes when we overturn Roe v. Wade, why can’t we require parental consent before a minor obtains an abortion? Why can’t we stop partial-birth abortions? Why can’t we get the government out of the business of promoting abortions? The truth is, we can…”
In 1994, Republicans won the House and would retain it until 2006. For the next two years, George W. Bush was the president. From 2009 to 2011, Barack Obama struggled with passing the Affordable Care Act because a group of pro-life Democrats feared the bill would expand abortion access.
According to Warren, this group would have let Obama codify Roe. From 2011 until 2021, Republicans always controlled at least one chamber of Congress.
Today Democrats have a narrow House and narrow Senate majority. Such pro-choice bills can and have passed the House, but 60 pro-choice Democrats are nowhere to be found in the upper chamber, making such acts performative. Warren says Democrats had 50 years to codify Roe, but in actuality, they have not had a single day to do such a thing.
Some counterargue the last point by attributing these narrow margins to Nancy Pelosi, noting that she endorsed a pro-life Democrat in Texas. The pro-life Democrat is running in a district that Bush II won in 2004, gave Democrats a 20-point victory margin in 2016, and then swung 15 points to the right to give Democrats a narrow 5-point victory margin in 2020. It is a swing district pure and simple.
Leftists wanted a pro-choice socialist to win the primary, even if she would lose in the general election, resulting in a GOP addition to the House. Pelosi wanted a pro-life, left-leaning candidate to win, understanding that, while a pro-choice candidate would be ideal, this blue dog Democrat is the most left this district is willing to go and he can win this race.
Leftists don’t care about electability in general elections, they just want the most extreme left-wing candidate to win the primary, and when this doesn’t happen, they decline to aid the left-wing winner in a variety of ways — all of which aid the right-wing candidate.
Will they tell us, as Warren did, it’s the Democrats’ fault for not passing laws — laws they couldn’t get through a body they barely control, for a populace that has never elected a super majority pro-choice Congress at any point, and with a Supreme Court that does whatever the Republican National Committee wants?
Deven Pierre is a senior at the University of Connecticut.