By Stacie Murphy, Policy Associate
Dear Congressman Ryan—
I’m sure you were shocked when you got the news. I suppose you couldn’t have known it would turn out this way. After all, it must have seemed like such a perfect match: you’re against abortion, and so is the national office of the Democrats for Life. But now you’ve been deemed, by their measurements, to be insufficiently “pro-life” and kicked out of their little club.
Let me be the first to welcome you to the dark side. You now know what those of us already over here have always known: it’s not really about abortion. It never has been. It’s about adherence to an ideological agenda so extreme that it would give mainstream America nightmares if they only knew how the far right wants their lives to look. In their world, it’s not enough to dislike abortion (and by the way, even the staunchest pro-choicers I know don’t think it’s puppies and sunshine). It’s about believing that contraception is evil, that government has a place in people’s bedrooms, and that attempts to work with those who believe differently are betrayal.
If the Democrats for Life and other fringe groups were really interested in preventing abortion, they’d do exactly what you’ve done in your time in Congress: look for ways to help women prevent unwanted pregnancy. Instead, they’re tossing you out and ridiculing you for the crime of…GASP…promoting the use of contraception.
I know it’s a rude awakening. But once you’ve had a chance to recover from the shock, I hope you’ll remember that there’s a place for you here. We don’t agree on everything, but when it comes to helping women prevent unintended pregnancy, there’s plenty of room in our tent.