Women’s groups spar on Palin

August 18, 2010

By Joseph Weber-The Washington Times

Gearing up for another midterm battle, women’s groups on opposite sides of the abortion debate have a new point of contention – former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and her crop of “mama grizzly” endorsements.

EMILY’s List, the pro-choice fundraising group for female candidates, ignited the Palin debate Tuesday with a new Web-based campaign challenging Mrs. Palin’s endorsement of a string of what the group calls “extremist” candidates – “mama grizzlies” in the former vice-presidential nominee’s terms – who would roll back women’s rights.

The 25-year-old group has launched a “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” interactive website on which visitors can “share personal stories … learn the truth about Palin’s endorsed candidates … and support progressive candidates.”

“She attempts to impose a radical, backward-thinking, anti-choice agenda in this country,” wrote blogger Stephanie Schriock, a Montana native who thinks Mrs. Palin has “co-opted the independent frontier spirit.”

But the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, which supports female political candidates who oppose abortion, said the idea of framing the debate around Mrs. Palin is dangerous politics.

“EMILY’s List is busy perpetuating what it purports to abhor – using women candidates with whom they disagree as punching bags,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said. “They will lose votes with this approach.”

She noted that Mrs. Palin’s backing of candidates like Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley in South Carolina had already proved potent in GOP primary battles this year.

“If they treat mama grizzly Nikki Haley like that in South Carolina, it will backfire,” Ms. Dannenfelser predicted.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/17/womens-groups-spar-on-palin/

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