All Americans Are Pro Life and Pro Family — Not Just Republicans

The religious right in this country, made up primarily of evangelical Christians, has hijacked the words “family values” and ”pro-life” from the rest of us to use for their own political and personal agendas. It’s time for us to reclaim them. We all believe in family values, don’t we? Aren’t we all pro-life? These words are as American as American pie, right?

Let’s discuss "family values." I was in my living room watching TV the night of the presidential elections. Following the announcement of Obama’s second win, I took a quick break to brew myself a cup of tea. Before I left for the kitchen, I turned the volume of the TV up several notches, making sure that I didn’t miss anything. I don’t remember what station I had on because I had been flipping news stations from MSNBC to Fox to CNN to the public education channel to watch and hear the results.

Rather abruptly, I heard an interview between a news anchor and a Republican congressman. The question to the congressman was: How do you think Obama could get along better with the Republicans? The congressman and who was either a freshman like Kerry Bentivolio (MI) or a geezer like senior Senator Mitch McDonnell (R-Kentucky), said in what seemed like a sincere and meaningful voice, without skipping a beat, “If Obama wants to stop the divisiveness between us, then he needs to stop having dinner with his family every night and invite us over to schmooze.”

I couldn’t believe it! I almost dropped my cup and ran into the living room to see what I was hearing. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, it was a commercial break. I heard the question and answer only once, and have never heard it or referred to again. So much for the Republicans' ownership of family values.

Let’s discussKaren Handel, a former senior vice president of public policy at the Komen Foundation for the Cure (Komen), is also a former state senator from Georgia who lost the Republican primary for governor a number of years ago.

Calling herself anti-abortion, Handel was vilified by the Georgia Right to Lifers who felt she wasn’t pro-life enough for two reasons. First, Handel stated she believed in abortion but with exceptions, such as rape, incest or the health of the mother.  Second, Handel disagreed with their leadership that in vitro fertilization and fertility treatments are immoral. Likewise, she did not agree to support their goal of prohibiting them. She lost their endorsement and lost the primary.

Then, Handel resigned her position at Komen immediately after learning that she was being vilified and held responsible for Komen’s announcement that grants to Planned Parenthood were to be reversed after its announcement that grants would no longer be made to Planned Parenthood.

In the first case, Handel was not pro-life enough; at Komen she was labeled pro-life. The irony became even greater after Handel’s book, Planned Bullyhood, was published. Handel is considering a run for U.S. Senate. The Georgia Rights to Lifers liked her book and will probably give her their endorsement.

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Ann Jackowitz

Ann Jackowitz writes and lectures on social injustice, gender inequality, LGBT issues, minority women including Jewish women, fundraising (with years as a senior exec at non-profit organizations) and breast cancer advocacy (she represented SHARE on the NBCC's board. of directors) She has produced films and written on "Anna O," an early inspiration for Freud's use of the "talking cure."

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