It seems that Democrats perpetuating the supposed “war on women” have engaged in some friendly fire.
A recent Gallup poll found that Americans identifying as pro-choice are at a record-low of 41%, down six percentage points from last July. Those identifying as pro-life now stand at 50%.
What has changed since last July?
As the mainstream media keeps us well aware, the Obama administration and its followers have exposed a war on women, pegging Republicans as the enemy and Democrats the grand arbiters of equality.
Included in the liberal combat plan is a mission to uphold the reproductive rights of American women, guarding them from the federal government’s unwanted moral advances. The underlying message assumes that a pro-choice stance is synonymous with a crusade for women’s rights.
With a rallying cry this deafening, it seems that a pro-choice citizenry would be more palpable than ever. But as the Gallup numbers indicate, fewer Americans are succumbing to the hype.
The poll continues to show that a larger majority of Americans now believe that abortion should be legal under “certain circumstances,” as opposed to all. This could mean one of two things: that either those formerly committed to a wholly pro-choice stance have added constraints to their definition of legality, or some pro-lifers have liberalized their views. With the dramatic decrease in pro-choice numbers, the former seems much more likely.
Has the once promising war on women backfired on the Democratic Party? The primary mistake of the endeavor was its almost celebratory view of abortion, treating the act of abortion as the ultimate act of liberation. One might guess that even those committed to a pro-choice stance felt moral qualms with this kind of rhetoric. The Gallup numbers certainly suggest it.
Indeed, one might wonder how much longer the White House can promote imagined causes in good conscience. As the American economy worsens, partisan attempts at distraction from the visible issues are becoming less and less effective.
The war on women might now be described as a last ditch, and failed, effort at rallying the Democratic base for a presidential victory, shifting an otherwise strong liberal faction into a grayer camp.
But regardless of November’s outcome, the new data highlights the Obama administration’s inability to legitimize a Republican assault on women, or to make pro-choice views mandatory in order for one to qualify as pro-woman.
With his patronizing “Life of Julia” style campaign rhetoric, Obama wants to cast himself as the guardian and protector of a feeble female underclass. Unfortunately for Democrats, Americans just aren’t buying it.
Elaina Plott is a sophomore at Yale University.