All during this campaign, those of us on the right snickered at, and even dismissed the Democrats "war-on-women" campaign. Sandra Fluke? Are they kidding? Yet the numbers may suggest that in direct refutation of what we have been told, that nationwide the pro-life movement is gaining strength; it may well be that in the innermost depths of their souls, and in the voting booths, a majority of Republican women want to know, indeed, NEED to know that should they, for any reason, find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, they can dispose of it without having to confront moral, and legal obstacles.
Let me first describe myself, so that anyone reading this has a clear sense of my worldview. I am a male, and unabashedly pro-life. I am not a Catholic, but I firmly believe that life begins at conception. I greatly admire Rick Santorum for his clear and resounding defense of the unborn. I do believe that exceptions should be allowed for rape, and when the mother's life is at risk, (and yes I aware of the problem that poses, in that it would be easy to get a doctor to certify "risk.") But we cannot get sidetracked by that discussion now.
Today, the day after the election, we begin to sort out the pieces of the ruins, and apportion blame. However, at first glance, two senate results jump off the page: Indiana and Missouri. We conservatives cannot ignore the meaning of these two races.
Romney won Indiana by some 275k votes. Joe Donnelly gave up his House seat because frankly, he couldn't win re-election, and decided, "hey, what the heck, I'll run for the senate" He beat Richard Mourdock, a somewhat flawed candidate, whom the Democrats successfully demonized, by 140k votes. That is a swing of more than 415,000 votes.
Romney won Missouri by 265k votes. Todd Akin, a weak GOP candidate, ran against incumbent Claire McCaskill, one of the most unpopular sitting senators. Anyone remember "Air Claire?" Akin made some stupid statements, and the Democrats, and the MSM, beat him over the head with them like a rented mule. McCaskill won by 420k votes. That is a swing of some 685,000 votes. That is a staggering number.
Both Indiana and Missouri are RED states. Obama is not popular in either one, and they detest Obamacare. Earlier this year, some 70% of Missourians, in a referendum, expressed their displeasure with Obamacare.
Either we believe that the good people of these two states are S-T-U-P-I-D; that they don't understand the significance of electing senators who will support the Democrat policies that the voters overwhelmingly oppose, or there is another reason to explain the vote.
I fully expect that when the votes are analyzed, we will find that the overwhelming majority of voters in the two states who split their ballots are women, Republican women.
We know basically how the women's vote divides along party lines. Young, single women, especially those with children, and minorities, vote Democrat. Married, especially with children, tend to vote Republican. Some today contend that single women voted for Obama because they were afraid that Romney would take away their right to abortion. That is patently false; first, because there aren't that many in those categories, and second, because Obama would have gotten an overwhelming majority of their votes regardless. They are already very dependent on big government.
No, I fear that the overwhelming majority of these normally Republican women went for Donnelly and McCaskill because they succumbed to an unnatural fear that somehow, Neanderthal troglodyte types like Akin and Mourdock would be able to outlaw abortion.
Planned Parenthood, Roe v. Wade, free contraception; these are all Democrat code words for "these guys want to take away your ability to get a 'no-questions asked' abortion." And that scares millions of women.
In the northeast part of the country, I suspect that 80% of women who vote GOP are pro-choice. That's how Scott Brown was able to get elected; he didn't scare them off. And that's why he lost time out, Warren successfully tied him to Akin and Mourdock.
And who are most of these women. They would call themselves solidly Republican. Fiscally conservative, and likely view themselves as socially conservative as well..marriage should be between a man and a woman. Married, middle class and upwards, and often with kids, homeowners living in the suburbs. Likely drive an SUV or a minivan. Attend church more than once a month. Many are struggling, to various degrees, with the problems of the economy today. Perhaps a spouse out of work, or a mortgage underwater.
For the most part, with varying degrees of difficulty, they will find a way to work through these issues. It's what families do. However, the one thing that can totally disrupt the careful order, the structure of their lives, is an unwanted pregnancy. They've had their 2, 3 or 4 kids, they're worrying about how to pay for college, and what happens? The bun in the oven. It can't be, it isn't happening, it's not going to happen. No way, no how. Or what's even worse; that their teenage daughter finds herself knocked up.
It's their ultimate security blanket, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the same day that the home pregnancy kit shows a POSITIVE, they can make the phone call, schedule the appointment, and the problem disappears in 24 hours. No questions asked, no ultrasound images to gaze at, no mandatory waiting period, no pamphlets to read, no required counseling; heck..the father doesn't even have to know.
I know of what I speak. I was married to a lady like that for many years. After we had our two daughters, and decided no more children, she worried not so much about the unwanted pregnancy, but of what her options would be were she to find herself unexpectedly pregnant in her 30's, her 40's.
And as anyone who has ever raised a daughter knows, you try to give them a good upbringing, teach them values and responsibility, but then they're out on their own in the big, bad world, and well....if it happened, then what. And I understand that fear. Watching your daughter drive off with a hormonal charged young male is a terrifying experience. Every parent asks themselves that question multiple times.."what would we do if...?"
I write this not to make accusations, nor cast aspersions. It is what it is. But we can't ignore it, the numbers won't let us. We have to find a way to come to grips with it; the fact that in this country, just as most seem now willing to accept same-sex marriage, the stigma of abortion has been blunted by decades of acceptance. Marriage itself is under assault.
At the start of this diary I wrote that it is too early to begin the detailed post-mortem. We need a little time to decompress. However, I am reminded of the comments two years ago of then-Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, who was being touted as candidate for the GOP nomination. He said that the GOP should abandon social issues in this election cycle, and focus only on economic ones.
Mitch, I fear, has been proven correct.