STRATEGY MEMO TO PROGRESSIVES AND DEMOCRATS
STRATEGY MEMO TO PROGRESSIVES AND DEMOCRATS
Reframing the abortion debate:
Protecting corporate profits vs. protecting the unborn
The Fetus and Child Protection Act
Objectives: Use Federal legislation and state ballot measures to achieve the following:
- Reframe the abortion debate as protecting corporate profits vs. protecting the unborn
- Establish unwanted pregnancy as the cause of abortion
- Establish Democrats as the moral leaders of the nation fighting to reduce abortions
- Brand Republicans as secretly increasing the number of abortions because they are pro-corporate and anti-unborn
- Drive a powerful wedge between Republican’s corporate backers and their religious constituency
- Clarify a new Democratic position that is neither pro or anti-abortion, but pro-fetus, pro-child, pro-family and pro-women
- Muddy the Partial Birth Abortion debate and make it backfire on conservatives
- Put Republican candidates for Congress on the defensive, forcing them to vote against legislation designed to reduce abortions in order to protect tax breaks for their wealthy backers
- Set up long term transfers from the Federal budget to traditional Democratic constituencies of teachers, midwives, nurses, and trial lawyers
- Defund current Federal programs supporting covert programs to recruit young people into conservative causes
- Defund current Federal programs supporting religious right organizations attacking the right to choose
- Rally progressive mainstream Protestant churches to get involved in political debate on the Democratic side in a legal manner
- Defund current Federal programs seeking to extend
anti-choice policy overseas US
- Block Federally funded religious right wing programs to take over schools and hospitals
1. Generate a grass-roots groundswell of support for a Progressive position on the unborn and children that bypasses the religious abortion debate by highlighting unwanted pregnancy as the real cause of abortion and demands an end to Federal programs and tax and budget policies that cause abortions by encouraging unwanted pregnancies.
2. Provide grant and campaign funds to support the strategy. Progressive funders establish a campaign funding and grants program to:
- Provide campaign support to Democrats and Republicans who will co-sign and introduce the Fetus and Child Protection Act
- Provide grants to progressive think tanks to produce reports proving that it is unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions, and that Federal and religious programs restricting access to birth control and full reproductive health information and services, including D&X, are driving the number of abortions.
- Contract with a public relations agency to promote the reports and smear opposing pundits and politicians as anti-fetus, anti-child
- Introduce the Act with a great deal of fanfare, hopefully with some Republican support, and a behind the scenes agreement to accept no amendments
- Focus the introduction publicity on the recognition of unwanted pregnancy as the cause of abortions, and the shift of revenues from corporate and wealthy tax cuts to protecting wanted pregnancies and children
- Label all opposition as in favor of tax cuts for rich corporations instead of funds to protect the unborn; drive home the belief: legislators must decide between greedy companies and the unborn position
- Fund a non profit staff with religious contacts to work with mainline Protestant Churches to provide from the pulpit support for the Act
- Launch a public support campaign led by religious leaders but fueled in part by VPR’s and paid media; concentrate heavily on the South and
Midwestto undercut Republican strength, especially in populist leaning states like Kansas (!)
3. Fund the launch of state ballot measures to assert that unwanted pregnancy is the root cause of abortion and roll back state programs that encourage unwanted pregnancy, like abstinence only education, and transferring corporate welfare programs to pre-natal care programs. These ballot measures will be written to brand Republican candidates as pro-corporate/anti-the unborn and position Democrats as the champions of the unborn and children in the face of corporate opposition.
Polling support for strategy of transferring the blame for abortions to corporations.
The Gallup Annual Values poll shows that Republicans and Democrats are 10 -20 points apart on questions of abortion, but the Barna Group annual poll of who do you trust, shows that they are almost exactly even in their extreme distrust of major corporate executives (only 4% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans reported they trust major corporate executives).
The FCPA utilizes these findings by building on Republican rank and file distrust of corporate executives, and by building on the one issue that Democrats and Republican rank and file agree on – corporate greed and corruption. The FCPA does not try to change attitudes; it reinforces existing attitudes. By doing this, it will create an opening for Democrats and Republicans to agree on an abortion position that puts the blame where it belongs – on Federal programs and tax policies that deny resources to women who want to carry their fetus to term and to families that want raise healthy children. Denied contraceptive information and even pills in some cases, and faced with poverty and fear, Federal policies drive women to abortions in order to protect corporate wealth. Instead of being the fault of liberals, abortion gets blamed on greedy corporations and superrich executives.
The amounts of funding in the bill are purposely extreme, on the order of the defense budget. This forces a showdown on priorities, and if successful (not likely, but that is not the point) will change the nation’s budget priorities for a decade and demand and end to tax giveaways to companies and wealthy investors. This will force Republican Congressional Reps, especially in states that are hurting financially, to choose between their corporate paymasters and the rank and file in the pews. No mater how hard they try to say it is the liberals’ fault, the distrust of corporate executives, combined with the framing of the issues as corporate greed vs. protecting the unborn, enough moderate and even religious Republicans will see the connection to demand they make the touch choice. We can only hope they stick with their corporate friends.
Democrats will be insulated from this by funds provided through the FPCA campaign PAC set up by Democratic donors, designed specifically to make up the threatened loss of corporate campaign money for Democrats who agree to support the bill. The Republicans can also do this, but we will be ahead of them…it will be too late because we will accuse them of protecting tax cuts for runaway companies instead of the unborn.
Finally, extract an agreement from all Democratic and Progressive players that they will:
- Support the strategy without reservation
- Not criticize or try to change the legislation or ballot measures
- Not criticize other Democrats or even Republicans supporting the bill
- Not nitpick positions or argue about the bill , the strategy, the coalitions, the progress of the program