One Group's Mission: Activating Pro-Life Women in Politics, Law

A predominantly pro-choice Congress and a left-of-center President do not hinder the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List from broadening the group’s support among voters. The SBA List’s mission is to activate more pro-life women in the political and legislative arenas so as to end abortion throughout the country. Pro-abortion political activists want to spend more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

In response, the SBA List has launched the “Stop the Abortion Bailout” campaign which is mobilizing pro-life supporters around the country, encouraging them to send letters to their senators. Over 400,000 arrived in less than nine days. SBA List also works closely with Team Sarah, which promotes the values Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin advocates. The driving force behind Team Sarah is SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser and General Chairman Jane Abraham.

“I’d be lying if I said I could have predicted the impact rolling out the way it did,” Dannenfelser said. “Sarah Palin was able to appeal to so many voters, and the movement of Team Sarah is still going strong even though her election race is over.”

The SBA List was founded in 1992 when a number of Republican and Democratic women came together out of their common frustration that only two women in Congress were pro-life. The early goal of the SBA List was raising money for pro-life, female political candidates.

“We have not seen any specific age or religious group become a majority of our supporters,” Dannenfelser said. “Our support comes from a wide range of pro-life grassroots organizations, and of course we have a very large Christian-based span of support.”

Dannenfelser was one of the early SBA List organizers who in 1997 actively worked on making it a membership organization with an affiliated political action committee to support grassroots lobbying and educational efforts.

Through extensive polling of American voters, the SBA List discovered that 53% were pro-life. This percentage ranged from voters who believe abortions should be prohibited in all circumstances, want abortions legalized only to save the life of the mother or abortions legalized only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. To the surprise of the SBA List, they found that after educating voters about the truth behind the pro-abortion agenda and informing voters that abortion groups are pushing to allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy, subsidized by tax dollars, many voters abandon their “pro-choice” support.

The first advocacy campaign that SBA List hopes to accomplish in the 111th Congress is the “Stop the Abortion Bailout,” which encourages pro-life voters to write their senators expressing their opposition to abortion groups’ demands for a taxpayer bailout.

“Right now, we’re focused on going into the districts where voters are likely unaware of how out of sync their senator is on the life issue,” Dannenfelser said. “We want to pick up vulnerable incumbents where we lost ground in the last election because that’s the only way to gain ground.”

The SBA List is also fighting to preserve the Hyde amendment which bans the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions and working to prevent the enactment of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). That bill would legalize taxpayer-funded abortion on-demand, for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy.

“FOCA is something that could pass, and that’s a really scary thought,” Dannenfelser said. “These policy changes build political muscle for FOCA to pass, which would mean parental notification laws are out the window and Catholic hospitals which refuse to perform abortions would be shut down.”

SBA List has not allowed the success of abortion activists in 2008 halt their fight. The group is already looking to work in various gubernatorial and statewide races in 2009 while defending pro-life congressional candidates in the future.

“It’s important to remember that despite how grim this situation looks, darkness can be womb for the day,” Dannenfelser said.

For more information on the Susan B. Anthony list, visit the organization’s website at