According to the Guttmacher Institute, state restrictions on abortions increased by:
92 in 2011
43 in 2012
70 in 2013
Both pro-choice and pro-life groups know these facts, as revealed by this PolitiFact quote:
“In the past three years, state legislatures have “enacted
more of these restrictions (on abortion) than in the previous
10 years combined.”
Both abortion-rights advocates and anti-abortion advocates told PolitiFact that they concurred with Murray, a Democratic senator from Washington state. Murray was basing her claim on data from a Guttmacher Institute report that counted 205 restrictions from 2011 to 2013, compared to 189 from the previous decade.
During all those increases in abortion restrictions, the National Organization for Women (NOW) continued to send out emails asking supporters to donate money.
Your support for NOW is essential to keep us moving in the
With your support, the NOW Foundation can mobilize our
vast network of allies and activists and help get the word out
to improve — and not eliminate — social and reproductive
rights and economic programs that keep millions of women
and their families out of poverty and healthy.
Your monthly gift of $15 can provide consistent and
reliable funding to allow us to dedicate more
resources to defending women’s rights at the
state level. Becoming a member of the Feminist Action
Network is easy, and you can change your donation amount
or cancel at any time. I urge you to become a member of the
Feminist Action Network today and fuel direct action for
With activists in hundreds of chapters across the
country, NOW knows how to fight back. But we
need your support. Can I count on you?
As investigative reporter Bill Lueders pointed out in an article, Wisconsin pro-choice groups lost even when they outspent Wisconsin pro-life groups.
Feminist leaders have not:
moved in the right direction
improved reproductive rights
defended women’s rights at the state level
The numbers — 205 more state restrictions on abortion in 3 years — prove that the National Organization for Women does not know how to fight back.
Changing Strategy To Change Results
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.”
The title of Bill Lueder’s article reveals why pro-choice groups are ineffective even with they outspend pro-life groups: “Abortion foes — big clout, little cash”. Pro-life groups spent less money in Wisconsin than pro-choice groups, but still won in the legislature because they have “clout” — influence and power. To have influence and power in state legislatures, feminist leaders need to stop doing the same thing over and over again. To change results, feminist leaders need to change strategies. They need to meet pro-life groups at their right to life message.
If babies have the right to life before birth, then they have the right to life after birth. The right to life after birth means every baby has the right to be born to parents who want him or her. Children deserve lives free of neglect, abuse, and murder at the hands of their parents.
The feminist message should be pro-child, not pro-choice. Protecting the lives of children would have more influence and power than protecting women’s right to choose. The pro-child movement could challenge the pro-life movement as only pro-birth, not pro-life. Pro-child supporters could ask pro-birth legislators to explain why they’re not pro-child. Pro-child supporters could ask pro-birth groups what they are doing to protect the lives of breathing children.
These tactics would create influence and power because they would not only include the pro-life message of right to life, but carry the right to life message further than pro-birth groups have. For children to be born only to parents who want them, both females and males must have their basic needs satisfied. If birth control is one of those basic needs, then birth control must be provided. This strategy needs a slogan that focuses on children, such as:
Children deserve parents who want them.
If you like the pro-child strategy, don’t wait for feminist leaders to jump on that bandwagon. Start talking and writing in your own life about every child’s right to be born to parents who want him or her. If enough of us talk about it, we might be able to reduce the pain of children who already live with parents who do not want them.
Since writing this post, I came across an example illustrating how focusing on children creates gender equity between men and women. Because Finland believes children have the right to spend time with both parents, the government offers nine weeks of paternity leave at 70% salary. Combined with other support from the government focused on satisfying children’s needs, this has led to Finnish fathers spending more time with their children than mothers, eight minutes a day.
What other sorts of equity could come out of focusing on children’s rights? We won’t find out from feminist leaders focused on finding fixes their glory addictions.
“Abortion foes — big clout, little cash”
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
July 24, 2013
“Finland: the only country where fathers spend more time with kids than mothers”
December 5, 2017
“Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights: 2013 State Policy Review”
Elizabeth Nash, Rachel Benson Gold, Andrea Rowan, Gwendolyn Rathbun, and Yana Vierboom
Guttmacher Institute State Center
“More state abortion restrictions were enacted in the last 3 years than previous decade, Sen. Patty Murray says”
January 24, 2014
“A Surge of State Abortion Restrictions Puts Providers—and the Women They Serve—in the Crosshairs“
Heather D. Boonstra and Elizabeth Nash
Guttmacher Policy Review
Winter 2014, Volume 17, Number 1
As an American, I have freedom of speech.
As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.
In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.
The National Organization For Women
National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.
Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not to call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.
Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!
hooks, Steinem Vaid, and Wolf could have created equality between women. They could have provided a platform for women who choose not to call themselves feminist to explain their choice in their own words.
My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:
“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”
NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women, as inferior and of secondary importance.
In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.
“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.
“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
University College Cork, Ireland
This project is no longer available online.
Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present.
All rights reserved.
Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.
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