Ellen McCormack: Pro-Life's Presidential Candidate of 1976

Ellen McCormack, 1975.

40 Years Ago this week, Ellen McCormack, pro-life columnist, wife and mother, was nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention (July 14th, 2016). She wasn’t a household name, although she did have some name recognition—her columns were carried in Catholic publications like The Wanderer and her other claim to fame was having organized the first large-scaled pro-life march in New York City in 1971, rallying 10 000.

Ellen McCormack ran for president at the behest of a small pro-life group—The Pro-Life Action Committee—that operated out the Cure of Ars Parish in Merrick, New York. The goal was to use the campaign as a platform to educate the public on pro-life issues by taking advantage of election rules which required the media to give all candidates equal time. Relying on thousands of grassroots pro-lifers across the country, she managed to raise $5000 in small contributions in 20 states, becoming the first woman in American history to qualify for matching funds. Her campaign was not without some controversy. Her single-issue candidacy annoyed political elites so much that they voted a change in funding rules in the middle of the election. As of May 1976, any candidate who did not gain more than 10% in two successive primaries would no longer be eligible for public money. Nevertheless, she had managed to raised $280 00 in small donations, received $240 000 from matching funds for a grand total of half a million dollars, of which $330 000 paid for television advertising.

McCormack was also the first woman candidate to qualify for Secret Service protection, which, considering the fringe nature of her operation, led to some humorous situations. For instance, when McCormack was scheduled to speak at a ballroom, the Secret Service told PLAC’s New Jersey representative that they would have to “sweep the ballroom”. “Oh you don’t have to bother,” said the na├»ve rep, “I’ll sweep the ballroom before Ellen speaks!”

Overall, she received 243 000 votes in 20 States, with a total of 1.4% of the vote, placing 11th in a field of 18 candidates. Her best showing was in Vermont, where she gained 8.6% of the Vote, and in Nebraska, where she placed third in the primary. She won a total of 22 delegates. Jimmy Carter’s nomination for President was not unanimous, as some sources had maintained.

Her main accomplishment was in keeping the abortion issue alive in a period where politicians desperately wanted the issue to go away. She was featured in human interest stories in newspapers and magazines. (Here's an article on her in New York magzine.) The mainstream political media mostly ignored her, except to complain of her single-issue candidacy. However, her commercials educating people on pro-life issues reached a total of 190 million people. (See below)

Anyone in reading up on the McCormack campaign can read Jane Gilroy’s book: A Shared Vision: The 1976 Ellen McCormack Presidential Campaign. (Only $1.99!)

Former MP Stephen Woodworth to Launch "Democracy Defence Initiative"

As read on Facebook:

Stephen Woodworth will be speaking at a luncheon in Saskatoon on Monday, August 8, 2016. A former Member of Parliament, Woodworth will be introducing his new project, Democracy Defence Initiative “to oppose recent efforts to eliminate fundamental freedoms in Canada.” The Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre (Ontario) until October 2015, explains that “obvious examples of freedoms being eliminated include freedom of conscience for doctors, freedom of speech for pro-life university students and freedom of religious belief and of association in the Trinity Western case."
In April, 2012, Woodworth introduced Motion 312 in Parliament, describing it in these terms: “I have concluded that the point of complete birth is not a rational or a reasonable point at which a child suddenly transforms from a non-human into a human being…” As a legislator, Woodworth was following the instructions made possible by Justice Bertha Wilson in the Morgentaler 1988 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada: “Morgentaler… does not foreclose Parliament’s right to regulate (abortion) by setting “reasonable” limitations on access to it.”

Know Your Scientific Forefathers-- Notable Figures in Early Modern Embryology

Twenty-first century pro-lifers take for granted that life begins at conception. But for Europeans in the Early Modern Era (1500-1800), the question of how human life began was very mysterious. Lacking any notion of cell theory, or sufficiently powerful microscopes, scientists of that age relied on studies of various animals to draw conclusions about human generation. Chicks, frogs and insects were the most widely used, but dogs, deer, rabbit horses etc were also employed.

There were, broadly speaking, three camps on the issue of the generation of life.

Blogging Update

Hello Readers

I know that I haven't been blogging much lately. I don't plan on abandoning Big Blue Wave, but I don't plan to blog daily like I used to. When I started Big Blue Wave over ten years ago, I had two kids. Now I have four. So my life is busier. I also have a large number of social media accounts. Social media offers me a bigger audience than blogging, so that's what I am focusing on. I still plan to use Big Blue Wave, but more for issues I really want to write about at length. Because these articles require a good deal of research that I won't be blogging every day. I used to feel I had to fill this space every day. I don't any more. Whatever quick commentary I want to make about issues dear to me, I can easily do it on facebook. It almost feels like it's not worth it to maintain a blog to write two sentences about an article. But for those articles that are longer than a couple of paragraphs, I definitely plan to contribute to my blog. So this is not the last of me, but it's a new phase in the life of this blog. I will editorialize when I feel I have something original to contribute to the pro-life conversation and when I think there's an audience for my opinion.

Thanks for reading.

If You Value Motherhood, Then You Don't Value Abortion Rights: Study

We always knew that feminists dissed motherhood. Here's more evidence of that. Check out this abstract:

Although Benevolent Sexism (BS)—an ideology that highly reveres women who conform to traditional gender roles—is cloaked in a superficially positive tone, being placed upon a pedestal is inherently restrictive. Accordingly, because the paternalistic beliefs associated with BS are based on the idealization of traditional gender roles (which include motherhood), BS should predict people’s attitudes toward women’s reproductive rights. Using data from a nationwide longitudinal panel study (N = 12,299), Study 1 showed that BS (but not Hostile Sexism) had cross-lagged effects on opposition to both elective and traumatic abortion. Study 2 (N = 309) extended these findings by showing that the relationship between BS and support for abortion was fully mediated by attitudes toward motherhood. These results highlight the pernicious nature of BS by demonstrating that the idealization of women—and motherhood, in particular—comes at a substantial cost (namely, the restriction of women’s reproductive rights).