Is the glass half-full for pro-choice women?

Female leaders see recent setbacks as powerful ammo.

Published March 10, 2006 7:14PM (EST)

Loyal Broadsheet readers don't have to be reminded that it hasn't been the best month for women. An abortion ban was passed in South Dakota earlier this month and 10 other states have similar legislation on the table. While the temptation is huge to throw our arms up in despair, it's encouraging that a few female leaders see the silver lining.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle gives voice to a few women who argue that these recent setbacks are actually the needed spark to get pro-choicers to the polls in the November elections.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, appeared Thursday at a Power of Choice fundraising luncheon in San Francisco with a rallying call for pro-choicers: "The radical right may think the battle is over ... but for us, it has just begun."

"Americans are ready for a change," Keenan said. "We must demand that our leaders reflect pro-choice values." Ellen Malcolm, founder and head of Emily's List, told the Chronicle that 21 seats are potentially up for grabs in the GOP and that women are running for 10 of those positions. She also offered a prediction that Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will become the speaker of the House. "Voters are really turning from Republicans ... and women will be the focus of their attention," Malcolm told the Chronicle.

Is this glass-full thinking unrealistic, or just what we need right now? With today's release of a California Field Poll that found 69 percent of the state's voters ready to elect a female president, I'm almost inclined to be an optimist.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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