President Obama’s selective listening on the state of women in America

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In a recent address regarding the “State of Women” in America, President Obama shaped his talking points around a selective view of both history and current conditions.

In his opening remarks, the President attempted to underscore how far women have come: “It was almost 100 years ago,” he said, “that Alice Paul and her fellow suffragists were arrested for picketing outside the white house for the right to vote.”  While women have collectively achieved much in the last century in terms of voting rights and securing a more equal role in public life, Obama’s comment is ironic for two reasons.  First, the President overlooked the most glaring human rights violation currently facing women: abortion.  Abortion harms an estimated one in four American women, and half of abortion’s victims are female.  Secondly, Alice Paul was outspokenly Pro-Life, stating that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”

Obama continued, saying: “Over the last seven years, we have significantly improved the lives of women and girls – not just here at home, but around the world.”  The “last seven years,” of course, being an homage to his own activism in nearly two complete terms as President.  This activism included an intimate relationship with and support for Planned Parenthood, the biggest and most notorious abortion business in the country.  And that’s just on home soil.

What about “around the world”?  When Meriam Ibrahim was shackled and pregnant in a Sudanese prison – her punishment for marrying a Christian man – Obama had the opportunity to intervene and chose silence.  When Boko Haram kidnapped an entire school of Nigerian girls, Obama and First Lady Michelle paid momentary lip service to their plight in a highly-publicized social media campaign before relinquishing further action.  These were two of the most glaring injustices committed against women during the Obama Administration, yet Obama was uncommitted at best.

In his address, the President said that Americans must do more to improve the lives of women.  We could not agree more.  Here are a few suggestions:

– Address the atrocity of gendercide at home and abroad

– Protect women from the predatory antics of the abortion industry; enforce federal policies against coerced and forced abortion

– Promote national health and safety standards at abortion mills to protect women seeking abortions

– Redirect federal funding currently going to Planned Parenthood into programs that genuinely seek to ensure the wellbeing of women and girls

We can agree with Obama’s statement that “progress is not inevitable.”  He continued, calling progress “the result of decades of slow, tireless, often frustrating and unheralded work.”  Indeed, we in the Pro-Life movement know that progress can seem unattainable, but when the lives of women and girls hang in the balance, we cannot relinquish our responsibility to move forward on the path of life-affirming feminism.

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