As you probably know, Susan B. Anthony was an iconic feminist who spent her life fighting for women’s rights. So you would think that any list bearing her name would obviously endorse someone like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose pro-woman credentials include introducing the EARLY Act in 2009 (which helps empower women to make informed decisions about their health), and actively supporting fairness in the workplace (she has the extraordinary belief that women should receive equal pay for equal work). Clearly, Wasserman Schultz is a candidate who cares about women and their interests. So, does the Susan B. Anthony List endorse her?
No. The SBA List endorses the other candidate, Karen Harrington. According to her website, Harrington is anti-choice and seems to share a lot of philosophies with the Tea Party. She has recently garnered an endorsement from radical antifeminist Michelle Bachmann.
How can this be? Well, the Susan B. Anthony List is an insidious organization dedicated to the advancement of anti-choice policies, legislation, and candidates. That’s right: The SBA List, while evoking one of the most honored names in feminist history, seeks to eliminate women’s rights. From the SBA List website:
“The SBA List has had two main legislative priorities: ending all federal funding of abortion and ending taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.”
If the SBA List cared about women, it wouldn’t be trying to defund an organization that provides crucial health services to women, would it? No, the SBA’s real agenda is about restricting women’s rights, as evidenced by the fact that their main criteria for endorsement include things like “be pro-life” and “be a viable candidate.” Nothing about women’s interests. Nothing about women at all, really. The SBA List has endorsed Romney, and before him, Rick Santorum (yes, Santorum, who thinks contraception is “dangerous” and whose 2005 book lamented the concept of women working outside the home). These are people who have no problem with government regulation of your vagina.
Naming this organization after someone who actually cared about women’s interests is kind of like a pro-war group naming themselves after Gandhi or a racist organization evoking Martin Luther King, Jr., in its title. The SBA List justifies its use of Anthony’s name by saying that it is an “untold” fact that she was vehemently pro-life, though concrete evidence of this is pretty weak. Anthony didn’t spend her life championing the rights of fetuses. She spent her life championing the rights of women. And pretending that taking rights away from women is in women’s best interest is fucked up logic at best and downright dangerous at worst.
I have serious doubts that using her name in a misleading way would make Susan B. Anthony proud.