The thought of anti-abortion zealots winning appointments to the Supreme Court under a Bush presidency was the one factor that terrified many into staying the course with the Democratic Party in 2000. Voters, many with pinched noses and sick stomachs, pulled the lever for Al Gore and the idea of Roe V. Wade being overturned has motivated many to promise support for John Kerry this November.
On Wednesday, John Kerry told the Associated Press that he was open to the idea of appointing anti-abortion judges “as long as it doesn’t lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.”1
All hell would be breaking loose right now if Ralph Nader said something like this. The leaders of the feminist movement were ready to tar, feather, and run Nader out of DC when he blundered and proposed that if Roe V. Wade were overturned, abortion would be protected because the decision would go back to the states. Elizabeth Cavendish, Interim President of NARAL Pro-Choice America has only this to say about Kerry’s statements: “There’s a huge difference between Bush and Kerry on choice and this is not going to undermine the pages-long documentation that Kerry is pro-choice.”2 Yes, Nader was wrong to say what he said in 2000, and no, he is not perfect, but what many do not know (and what the mainstream feminist movement will not tell you) is that Ralph Nader recently signed to NOW’s platform of political, social, and economic rights for women.3 Kerry has not. And not long before Kerry told all of us that he was no redistribution democrat, Nader spoke up for cleaning people4: a segment of the workforce that is overrepresented by women and people of color. Cleaning people only are noticed if someone is unhappy with their work.
The problem is that we have a single issue women’s movement that is not equipped to address the collective oppression of women who are on the lower rungs of the economic ladder because the movement restrains itself with blind support for the Democratic Party. Ralph Nader knows that abortion is not the only concern of the majority of this country’s women, which is why he will stick up for those who clean the houses of the limozine liberals who are campaigning the hardest for Kerry.
Despite the fcta that we won Roe V. Wade under the anti-choice Nixon administration and we did not have abortion providers in over 85% of all counties under Clinton, many see a Democratic Party presidency vital to securing abortion rights. Kerry’s statements kill the myth we are guaranteed pro-abortion judges if he becomes president, it also kills the other argument that ABBers have been promoting: you know, the one that claims that we can build a movement after we get a Democrat in office and that Democrat will do all of the right stuff. John Kerry said that he would be open to appointing anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court only 24 days after what many have said was the largest demonstration in American history. Movements work, but the two party system does not.
1CNN.com. “Abortion advocates stand by Kerry”
4 Ralph Nader Urges: Celebrate National Cleaners Day
BRANDY BAKER can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org