BY BARBARA SANTEE
I watched that shameful vote that excluded abortion coverage from the National Health Care Bill. Thirty-nine Democrats voted for it, including Dan Boren of Oklahoma!!
Owning the Republican Party is not enough for the right-wing extremists. They are gaining more and more political power within the Democratic Party, and there is no counter-balancing force on the Left that has the guts to stand up to them politically. It is always the Liberals who are expected to cave [and usually do] for the “higher good.”
We have such a force, but it is not organized politically to fight for its own welfare. That force is pro-choice women! Yes, there are issue-oriented organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, but they can only lobby. Not good enough. We need pro-choice women elected to Congress where the real power is, and we need to be organized enough to strike fear in the hearts of candidates and elected officials.
I’ve thought for a long time the only way women – particularly pro-choice women – will gain real political power would be to support a new Women’s Party. There already is the National Women’s Party, established in 1916, that still retains an office in Washington, DC. But during that group’s very first meeting nearly 100 years ago, Alice Paul clarified that the party would not be a political party.
Since then, it basically has worked as a lobbying group to pass legislation relevant to women and girls, and it never became embroiled in party politics. But in 1997, the NWP ceased its lobbying activities and is now an educational organization and museum. It has effectively neutered itself as a real political force in this country.
[Read more about the NWP at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Women%27s_Party.]
We need a New Women’s Party that is unabashedly pro-choice, pro-women, pro-children, pro-gay rights. Unabashedly Liberal!
If such a party could gain enough traction, it could sway elections just as the Teabaggers and Conservative Party seem to be able to do now. Women make up the majority of voters in the Democratic Party. Some 35 million American women have had abortions.
If we can harness and focus that political power, we could not only sway, we could win elections! We need to show the Democrats that their whipping gals are mad as hell; and we’re not going to take it anymore!! We’ve been thrown under the bus once too often.
Listen up, Democrats. Women’s reproductive health is not just another chit in the Good Old Boys’ political game. If you’re going to treat politics as a game, you’d better remember something. You don’t have to have balls to play!
– The author lives in Tulsa and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer