Pro-Life Twitter Picket: #AWomansRightToBeBorn
By David Krouse
For twelve years I have been a registered Republican. I have voted in two presidential elections (2008, 2016) in two different states (Ohio and California). On March 1st, 2019, I began a daily Twitter Retweet Protest asking “How Long Must We Wait for a ProLife Democrat to Run for President?” using a hashtag campaign: #AWomansRightToBeBorn.
I have been joined by Kirsten Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America and now other Twitters spontaneously responding. In the first ten days, the protest travelled to Michigan, New Hampshire, Kansas, Southern & Northern California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey and Iowa.
My goal is to raise awareness that abortion is undermining American Democracy by creating political monopolies and opportunism, while the right to live is still denied. The Republican strategy of hyped elections followed by non-action has weakened our Democracy; first by Pro- Life voter fatigue and second creating political ambivalence among American voters in general.
From 2002 – 2006, Republicans held Congress and the White House. The majority of states passed constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage and a federal amendment was seriously considered by Congress. During this time not a single state ratified a human life amendment.
From 2008-2010, Republican Party conservatives led campaigns to defeat Personhood Amendments on state ballots in the name of electing a “pro-life president” causing a schism in the Pro-Life Movement. In 2012, Mitt Romney was nominated. Pro-Lifers sat out the election.
In 2017, Republicans again controlled Congress and the White House. Not a single piece of significant pro-life legislation passed Congress; including the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act or the PreNatal Discrimination Ban.
Positioning Republican and Democrat Parties as Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, has left American voters with no choice at all. Americans prioritizing the Right to Life are being forced to sacrifice healthcare, taxation, foreign policy, national defense, education and labor. While some consider this electoral choice, American Democracy CAN ONLY EXIST when all political parties support the Right to Life.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson clearly established the moral foundation of government declaring;
“That to secure these [inalienable] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form. . .”
More recently during the proliferation of “democratic people’s republics” in the 20th Century, Margaret Thatcher reminded that Democracy goes beyond voting;
“Democracy rests ultimately on morality. . . How could minority groups in a democracy be protected against the majority? Surely the 51 per cent might claim legitimacy for persecution of the 49 per cent? But democracy is about more than majorities. It is about the right of every individual to freedom and justice:”
After four years of Republican non-action under George W. Bush, I voted Anti-Republican in 2006. This was made easier by the fact that I was aware Democrats for Life and significant numbers of Pro-Life Democrats ran for office. Still voting for a party that supported abortion rights or more Republican non-action left me disenfranchised.
In 2008, I favored John Edwards for President, but was disgusted by his “Pro-Choice” stance. I decided to vote without taking abortion into consideration, recognizing that the driving factors of abortion are socio-economic. Edwards dropped out of the race before Ohio’s Primary. In November 2008, I voted for Sarah Palin to see a pro-lifer as the first female Vice-President.
Pro-Life Democrat History
Current Pro-Life Republican rhetoric ignores the real and censored existence of Pro-Life Democrats. In 1976, Ellen McCormack ran the first Right to Life President Campaign for the Democrat Party Nomination. McCormack’s inspiration came from a doctor trying to pressure her into a legalized abortion due to her heart condition. In her run, McCormack was supported by Dr. Mildred Jefferson; the first African-American woman to graduate Harvard Medical School and President of the National Right to Life Committee.
The two women appeared in national television ads [above] articulating a bold electoral strategy. McCormack became the first woman to raise enough money to qualify for federal matching funds and Secret Service Protection. She won 230,000 votes in 18 Primaries and 22 Delegates, sparring with Jimmy Carter over abortion during a debate. While a Pro-Life Housewife from New York campaigned against a Born Again Christian, Republicans re-nominated Pro-Choice President Gerald Ford. Yet the woman-centered Pro-Life Democrat campaign for President on the “woman’s issue” has been Command Deleted from history.
In 1990 Joan Finney, a Democrat, defeated two men (Democrat and Republican) to become the first female Governor in Kansas only to be dePlatformed by her party in a Senate bid. Democrat Mayor Sharon Weston of Baton Rouge, during her time in the Louisiana State legislature was one of the architects of “A Woman’s Right to Know Laws.” Currently three Pro-Life Democrat Senators have joined in bi-partisanship with the Republicans for the Born Alive Act, and Congressional number of Pro-Life Democrats are dwindling to a handful. Pro-Life Democrat women in particular are special targets for disenfranchisement by PAC like Emilys List.
My Twitter Protest is designed to raise awareness of this lack of electoral competitiveness through a digital retweet picket line across one of the largest social platforms daily. The tactics are simple – we hold the parties in power responsible and amplify attention to their actions.
The end goal I hope to achieve is to take advantage of the Republican incumbency to draw Pro- Life Voters attention to Democrat Primaries and dePlatform Pro-Choice Democrat incumbents creating momentum for a Presidential election where A Pro-Life Democrat faces off against a Pro-Life Republican, dePlatforming Pro-Choice politicians altogether.
Chance for success
I believe this protest will create results. In 1916, Alice Paul led the original picket protest that resulted in the 19th Amendment’s ratification, showing how effective it is. Recently in 2008 and again in 2018, Twitter became one of the most important digital tools for protestors in Iran working to dePlatform the Supreme Leader. Due to Donald Trump’s revitalization of Twitter as the primary platform of political conversation, we believe this platform is extremely relevant to a social protest and inject our message into multiple conversations from our phones.
I also believe that this protest on Twitter is more likely to draw attention not only because Twitter is now trending again among users, but because Twitter has recently taken to political censorship and suspending accounts, while testifying before Congress this was not the case. This pro-life censorship interference in political elections has been documented by Senator Marsha Blackburn and the Susan B. Anthony List. Should we face such censorship, the potential of having our case raised by members of Congress exists, making 21st Century digital disobedience extremely effective. I invite everyone to join me in making this daily Retweet campaign viral.
Follow my account
Follow either my account @Dgtkrouse or @CoalitionWomen and daily search for the post hashtag #AWomansRightsToBeBorn and number. Then retweet to your followers, who will hopefully do the same, with the goal to draw attention.
[Thanks to David Krouse for submitting this guest blogpost.]