After Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) officially launched his presidential campaign in Louisville, Kentucky today, his website featured a “Show Your Support” page where supporters could download images to post on their social media accounts.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and consistent endorser of Democrats, responded by attacking Paul with several tweets that women would not be supporting him.
The logos on Paul’s website cover a broad variety of religious, geographic, and occupational categories, including African American for Rand, Catholic for Rand, Lawyer for Rand, Farmer for Rand, Libertarian for Rand, Marine for Rand, Student for Rand, South Carolinian for Rand, Iowan for Rand, etc., in addition to several different “Stand with Rand” logos. This is a very common online outreach strategy that has been employed by political campaigns during the past few election cycles, especially with the rising popularity of smartphones and social media.
The issue for Planned Parenthood is that there is not a separate “Women for Rand” logo offered, and they posted a tweet attacking Paul, saying that his website “doesn’t have anything for women. Message received.”
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) April 7, 2015
This tweet was quickly mocked by many people who observed that women could be many of the categories offered.
— Sarah Stevenson (@sarahrstevenson) April 7, 2015
— Josh Fields (@partiallypro) April 7, 2015
Planned Parenthood then attempted some damage control, acknowledging that women were, in fact, doctors and veterans and so on, but still insisting that women would not be able to support him.
It is far to early to tell which candidate among the Republican contenders or in the eventual November 2016 general election will win the majority of women’s votes, but the idea that no women will be supporting Paul is patently false.
His announcement featured several women supporting him, including his wife Kelley Paul and University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler, and photos and video of the crowd as well as tweets posted by supporters showed that, yes, there were in fact many women in attendance. Several of Paul’s key early hires have been women as well, including Rachel Kania, who will head up his digital office based in Austin, Texas.
On the broader point of women supporting a Republican candidate, Planned Parenthood is in complete denial about how many women are pro-life and support pro-life candidates. Melissa Conway, Director of External Relations for Texas Right to Life, told Breitbart News that it was “shortsighted” for Planned Parenthood “to attempt to speak on behalf of all women across the country.”
“Planned Parenthood Action Committee fails to recognize that women represent many segments of voters, not just abortion advocates,” said Conway. “A large majority of pro-life supporters are women. To say that any candidate who is pro-life will lack support from women is not only wrong, but also absurd. As evidenced by voting in Texas, pro-life women vote for substantial pro-life candidates, and these women represent a strong majority of voters.”
Paul, like his father, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), is a physician and shares his pro-life beliefs, which both men have frequently tied to the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.” The “Issues” page on Paul’s website under “Sanctity of Life” has a straightforward declaration of his position, that he “strongly believe[s] in the sanctity of life” and “life begins at conception and…abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.”
“Our government should not be responsible for funding abortions,” Paul continues, “and as President, I will attempt to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to groups who perform or advocate for abortion.”
Planned Parenthood then went for the trifecta, posting another Tweet revealing their thoughts about women. This time, instead of insinuating that women cannot be veterans or doctors or students, they have reduced young women to “Beyonce Voters.” With a link to a YouTube video, Planned Parenthood tweeted, “LOVE. THIS. Young women voters—yep, #BeyonceVoters—are diverse, informed, and powerful.”
Congrats, ladies. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested attempting to vote but in 2015 we can get abortions and be compared to a pop star.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.