Palin Still Finds Fans in Anti-Abortion Movement

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 at 6:03 am
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) with her son, Trig (Flickr: Sparky05)

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) with her son, Trig (Flickr: Sparky05)

Debbie Joslin wasn’t happy to see Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) announce her resignation. “I was disappointed that she wouldn’t be governor anymore,” Joslin told TWI. “It’s hard to get things done now because of the 10-10 split between the parties in the State Senate. What she did was out of the box, and anybody else would be politically dead.”

Joslin, the president of the Alaska branch of the conservative Eagle Forum and a longtime Republican activist, saw the possible good in Palin’s surprise decision to leave office at the end of July and, in her words, “effect positive change outside government at this point in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities.” Ten years ago, Joslin was informed that her son Isaiah would be born with Trisomy-13 — in other words, anomalies that would mean severe retardation and early death. She rejected advice to fly to George Tiller’s clinic in Kansas to terminate the pregnancy. Her son died 32 days after he was born. Joslin got a letter from Palin, then the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, praising her courage. When Palin’s son Trig was born with Downs Syndrome, Joslin gave her moral support, and even filled in for Palin to accept an award from the Republican National Coalition for Life.

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

“After that,” said Joslin, “I said, ‘I’m not just an activist. I’m an eyewitness.’ You can say the same thing about the governor. She has talked the talk and walked the walk. She knows that there are folks out there who wanted her to kill Trig.”

Palin’s surprise decision to leave the governorship of Alaska after only two years and seven months has been mocked by political foes and friends alike. Staunch allies such as Bill Kristol argued that Palin made a savvy, from-the-gut political play, “an enormous gamble” that “could be a shrewd one.” But many conservatives and fellow Republicans — some of them standing to benefit from the governor’s political problems — have labeled Palin an erratic quitter. “I am deeply disappointed,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowki (R-Alaska), “that the Governor has decided to abandon the State and her constituents before her term has concluded.”

One element of the conservative movement is much more excited. Anti-abortion activists, who embraced Palin after the birth of Trig and after the unmarried pregnancy of Palin’s daughter Bristol, are ecstatic about the possibility that Palin, freed from the duties and turmoils of office, could become a historic leader and spokeswoman for their cause.

“Sarah Palin is the ultimate speaker on pro-life issues,” said Jane Abraham, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party who co-founded Team Sarah, a project of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List that supports anti-abortion female candidates. “We surpassed 70,000 members over the weekend, after her speech. People respond to her. She’s absolutely the most effective advocate the pro-life movement could have.”

In the eight rocky months since Palin lost the vice presidency, she declined (sometimes after initially accepting) speaking engagements at high-profile events such as the Conservative Political Action Conference and a fundraiser for the National Republican Senatorial and Campaign Committees. In April, however, Palin flew to Evansville, Ind., to headline a fundraiser for the Vanderburgh County Right to Life Committee, a show of star power that brought the group an overflow crowd and a bevy of national political reporters. A month later, Palin criticized the University of Notre Dame for giving an honorary degree to President Obama, calling the president “
someone who contradicts the core values of the Catholic faith by promoting an anti-life agenda,” and pouring gasoline on a brief but firey abortion debate.

“With some politicians, pro-life politicians, you get sense that they’re throwing us bones,” said Marc Tuttle, the president of Indianapolis Right to Life, and an attendee at the April fundraising dinner. “Sarah Palin seems very sincerely to believe what she claims to believe. We know that she’s been there.”

Tuttle said that Palin had “shattered” the idea that “women can’t have children and stay in politics,” adding that “she brings out the truth, that this is an issue that affects a cross-section of the public, and not just poor women and minorities.”

According to Gary Bauer, the former president of the Family Research Council who now leads the conservative American Values, Palin’s gender and personal experiences would make her a “fantastic” leader in the anti-abortion movement. “A woman making the argument that this is not something that should be a right, but rather that it’s a disaster for women, is a much more powerful voice than somebody like myself, for example.” Bauer recalled that when he led the FRC, he “set out to find as many pro-life young women as I could. When there were opportunities to give them media appearances, I did.”

Some anti-abortion activists, while focusing on the role Palin could play as a spokesman, pointed out the power that anti-abortion politics could play in the 2012 presidential primaries. In 2008, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) surged past Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) with a campaign that focused less on his ten-year record in the state house and more on his superior credentials as an anti-abortion, pro-family “Christian leader.” Twenty years earlier, the Rev. Pat Robertson was able to ride a sterling social conservative record and support from anti-abortion and religious right activists to a second-place showing in the Iowa Caucuses (ahead of future President George H.W. Bush) and a win in the Washington state caucuses, with a strong showing in Michigan. Neither man won his party’s nomination, but neither began his campaign with the level of credibility and popularity that Palin enjoys with the Republican base.

“My husband had a career in public service,” said Jane Abraham, whose husband Spencer was a Republican senator from Michigan from 1995 to 2001. “He could stand up and speak effectively about these issues. I could stand up and speak about the same issues and be far more effective because I am a woman. I believe that those who want to take her out, and have been so good at demeaning her on the national scene, believe that she’s a true threat.”

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Comment posted July 7, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

For Sarah Palin so loves Alaska that she's sacrificing her valuable TITLE.


Comment posted July 7, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

I'm certainly not her biggest fan, but Trig is a beautiful little boy, and I think the pro-life movement has a valuable spokeswoman in SP.

Comment posted July 7, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

you guys need to do a bit more due diligence on your flickr photo use – not only is that one marked copyrighted (so you'd be violating the photographer's copyright by using it here), the flickr user openly credits getty. probably don't want to be using getty photos w/o permission.

Comment posted July 7, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

“a historic leader and spokeswoman”

Awesome, a leader who declines to lead and a spokeswoman who hates verbs. Oh, and she has no idea what “community organizers” do. But hey, she did actually have a baby when she could have, you know, not …. so I guess that qualifies her? Is this all it takes to be a “leader” in the pro-life movement?

Friends like these, who needs enemies?

Comment posted July 8, 2009 @ 3:28 am

How about Obama show everybody his original longform Birth Certificate, college applications where he might have applied as a foreigner, his passport records to Pakistan, his official name-change back to Obama from Barry Soetoro which was his legal name when a citizen of Indonesia(the MOST Moslem country in the world) and why doesn't Michelle accompany him to countries under shariah-law? Because Obama is viewed by those countries as a Moslem and his wife would have to wear a burkha.

Comment posted July 8, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

How about this article wasn't even about Obama? If you're going to spout nonsense, at least do it where it's remotely relevant

Comment posted July 8, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

I am definitely pro-choice. In saying that, I commend her for her choice and am proud that she had a choice. Good for her.

On the flip side, good for her for having the money, ability, and support to be able to care for her child and recognizing that as a possibility. I can't wait until Republicans allow those opportunities to be available to all.

Comment posted July 8, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

LOL This is hilarious ;) Oooooh, conspiracy theory!

Comment posted July 9, 2009 @ 3:21 am

Nothing speaks louder about an unwanted child than sending him to the U.S. at age ten to be raised by his maternal grandparents in Hawaii. The grandparents were fortunate to have the money and ability to raise the little foreigner who was almost half-black.

Comment posted July 9, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

Palin CHOSE to have Trig. Get it?????

Comment posted July 9, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

how about you show proof that you have a brain.

Comment posted July 9, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

Its all in the latest issue of Newswatch Magazine about Obama's illegitimate presidency. My mission is to get the word out any way I can. The problem isn't going away so I'm doing what little I can to fan the fire despite the media blackout.

Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 1:50 am

Palin still does not know what a VP's duties are. hopefully, she will never find out.

Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 1:53 am

A spokesperson should attract those from the middle and opposition. When she speaks the instinctively put their defenses up. She is not a good spokesperson for this, but if they are trying to speak to the anti-abortion decided she will be great. Trig only brings up the fact she had a “choice”.

Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

Put the crack pipe down and realize that this is a red herring to distract you from the fact that your rights are still being destroyed by people who picked up the ball from Cheney-Bush. Does it matter if the president is black if he is continuing the Bush efforts to overthrow the Constitution by not prosecuting the torturers, investigating the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, the illegal wiretapping by the NSA, and illegal fake wars overseas designed to distract Americans from the evils done in their name, to keep them frightened, docile and pliable?

Comment posted July 11, 2009 @ 4:54 am

The red-herring is actually the war(s). I just saw where we are giving BILLIONS to some faraway land. That just further convinces me this whole economy downturn is a sham to keep the military full of warm bodies. We will sell our state autonomy and civil rights for the promise of a more prosperous future, free healthcare, and nobody legally mentioning the word sin.

Why Not Sotomayor? « Cinie’s World
Pingback posted July 12, 2009 @ 9:39 am

[...] There is no doubt that anti-feminist, anti-abortion, conservative organizations think Sarah Palin has their back, and will soon be pushing their shared agenda from up front, where it counts, especially in regards to the upcoming 2012 presidential elections: One element of the conservative movement is much more excited. Anti-abortion activists, who embraced Palin after the birth of Trig and after the unmarried pregnancy of Palin’s daughter Bristol, are ecstatic about the possibility that Palin, freed from the duties and turmoils of office, could become a historic leader and spokeswoman for their cause. [...]

Comment posted July 14, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

But Cheney and Bush started it. Is it better if there is some socialism for those statists who are on the political right? Apparently so.

Comment posted July 15, 2009 @ 3:13 am

How about Palin show Trig's birth certificate?

Comment posted July 18, 2009 @ 11:34 am

Gov. Palin is the only politician I know of now, that has taken on corruption in oil companies and her own Party….yet she is constantly beaten up in the media.

At a time when all politicians should be attacking corruption in our system, then condemn her for doing so….then carry on with their tactics of undermining our sovereignty and our economy!

Tells us a lot about the politicians we have now!

Comment posted July 18, 2009 @ 11:41 am

Like New Mexico's Gov. Richardson, when he failed to sit in his office to run for President? Or Obama failed to sit in the Senate (along with McCain), to run for President, how about Chris Dodd, Brownback?

I'm glad she is now able to get out and do whatever she deems necessary to get corruption out of our system, and hopefully get all the USA the resources Alaska has to offer!

She doesn't have to run for an office, if she can bring us resources that some in Washington seem to want to deny us!

Palin Still Finds Fans in Anti-Abortion Movement | The Washington …
Pingback posted July 21, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

[...] See more here: Palin Still Finds Fans in Anti-Abortion Movement | The Washington … [...]

Comment posted July 29, 2009 @ 12:20 am

Yeah, she sured showed those big ole nasty oil companies who was boss, they did exactally what they wanted when they wanted regardless ……. Don't you wonder why she resigned? Could it be it was either that or be impeached…….maybe they found out she didn't have a birth certificate…..It makes me think the birthers don't have a birth certificate, any living being can't be that stupid.

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Comment posted August 6, 2010 @ 4:24 am

The grandparents were fortunate to have the money and ability to raise the little foreigner who was almost half-black.

Comment posted August 20, 2010 @ 9:23 am

I like very much the writings and pictures and explanations in your adress so I look forward

to see your next writings. I congratulate you.

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