visibility of the right-wing war on women's reproductive rights is generating
significant increases in funding, according to leaders of organizations such as
EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood. The 27-year-old EMILY's List is dedicated to electing
pro-choice Democratic women to office:
"We are on track to have one of the best first quarters we've ever had for candidate fundraising," said EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock.
It's a very different landscape than the one Democratic women faced in 2010, when 11 of them were ousted from the House and several were replaced by tea party-backed candidates. Democratic women fared better in the Senate, where moderate Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas was the only female Democratic incumbent to lose her reelection bid, but several others had close calls.
The shift is a surprise.
A spokeswoman said the organization, with eight months to go, has already raised more than twice as much as it did in the whole 2010 election cycle. That cycle EMILY's list brought in $38.5 million, according to Politico, which consistently labels the group as "pro-abortion."
Planned Parenthood has also seen a rise in contributions. A spokesperson wouldn't say how much, but media reports said the organization brought in $650,000 in two days after it became known that the Susan G. Komen Foundation was cutting off funding for it. In addition to the increased flow of money, EMILY's List says it has doubled its mailing list since the 2010 election and has seen a rise in additions in the past three months. Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have seen a rise email recruits as well. It's anybody's guess how much of all that is due to their own efforts as opposed to spin-off from the email and social media campaigns that independent grassroots groups, including Daily Kos, have been running in the wake of the Komen decision and Limbaugh's shoot-from-the-lip misogyny.
Getting more money and translating it into winning candidacies and then into effective policies favoring reproductive rights are, obviously, very different things. But the Republican over-reach seen in the past 15 months--GOP shadow chairman Rush Limbaugh's "slut" diatribe, the dozens of abortion-restricting laws passed in state legislatures and the remarks of ultra-reactionary candidates like Rick Santorum--seem to have struck a nerve that years and years of organizing against the anti-choice, anti-privacy forces had not effectively achieved. All of this adds to the possibility that a reversal could finally be under way.
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO METEOR BLADES ON MON MAR 19, 2012 AT 12:23 PM PDT.