LABOR PARTY: Emily's List - who and what are they?
by Babette Francis
News Weekly, September 1, 2007
Many people have no idea what "Emily's List" means, nor are they aware of its pernicious influence, writes Babette Francis.
In my suburban paper there was a news item advertising a theatrical production, and it was mentioned that funds raised would be donated to "Emily's List". Some people would in good faith attend the theatre, unaware of what they were supporting.
The acronym "Emily" stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast. First established in the United States, Emily's List is a feminist organisation which raises money to have pro-abortion women elected to parliament. It functions within the Democratic Party in the US and the ALP in Australia. Emily's List candidates also support "equity", i.e., the preferential hiring and promotion of women, and "diversity", meaning homosexual rights.
In Australia, Emily's List was founded by two former Labor premiers, Joan Kirner (Victoria) and Carmen Lawrence (Western Australia). It claims to have 3,000 members and to have helped 115 women into state and federal parliaments.
Candy Broad, MLC for Northern Victoria (whose recent bill to decriminalise abortion in Victoria has been deferred until after the federal election) is an Emily's List member, and Joan Kirner is one of the driving forces behind the bill.
Kath Woolf, spokesman for the Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations, says Broad's male ALP colleagues, some of whom have indicated they would not support her bill but would consider a different bill, "either do not understand, or do not wish to acknowledge, the influence of the pro-abortion women in all our parliaments".
She says: "A core strength in these women's ranks are those who are supported in their career by Emily's List. The List supports Labor 'pro-choice' women from pre-selection right through; (once) in power, these successful candidates owe allegiance to this agenda.
"Even more dangerously, they are the strong glue for the cross-party women's alliances so clearly demonstrated in the federal legislative initiatives of 2006: the 'Lockhart bills' (permitting embryo-experimentation and cloning), the RU-486 abortion pill regulatory regime (taking authority away from Health Minister Tony Abbott), and the attempted silencing of pregnancy-support groups by punitive measures, which is still on-going.
"If their Labor colleagues expect some consultation or consideration for the party's standing on a divisive topic, they are living in another universe. The alliance between Emily's List Labor women in all Australian parliaments and non-Labor pro-abortion women MPs is growing stronger all the time; their weapon of choice is the private member's bill. Major parties can dodge making policy decisions defending core values by subsequently offering a 'conscience' vote."
One could add to Kath Woolf's list of the anti-life activities of Emily's List and their allies in other parties the pressure currently being exerted on the Howard Government to include abortion-funding in Australia's overseas aid.
Besides its anti-life activities, Emily's List is committed to affirmative action, meaning discrimination against men in employment and promotion until an equal number of women are employed at all levels. As the pool of available women is always smaller (because of child-bearing and child-raising) than the pool of men, affirmative action involves gross discrimination against men instead of employment and promotion on merit.
One wonders why ALP men tolerate the sexism of Emily's List.
Emily's List won't tolerate any restrictions on abortion, even for viable full-term babies. Andrew Bolt, in Melbourne's Herald Sun (July 25, 2007), pointed out that Candy Broad's bill in the Victorian Parliament had been motivated by the controversy surrounding the abortion of Jessica, the 32-weeks gestation baby, wrongly suspected of "dwarfism".
This is the only case in decades in which abortionists might have had to face charges. Subsequently, they did not - nor have the abortionists of the other 20,000 pregnancies terminated every year in Victoria.
Just how committed Emily's List is to late-term abortion is illustrated by what happened in the United States to Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Senator Landrieu is "pro-choice", but she did vote for the US Congress's ban on partial-birth abortion. The US Supreme Court in upholding the ban stated: "A moral, medical and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion … is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited."
In 1996, when Landrieu first ran for the US Senate, Emily's List donated $112,000 to her campaign, but cut her off from any funding in the 2002 elections after she voted for the ban on partial-birth abortions.
To have the financial and political support of Emily's List, a candidate must support the abortion of a full-term baby right up to the moment of birth.