U Penn 'Religious Studies' Prof: Having Abortion a ‘Plus’ for Female Politicians

July 9, 2013 - 10:48 AM

(CNSNews.com) – – Past abortions and single parenthood should be marketed as positive elements in women’s political campaigns, according to University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler.

“You have to be able to push past this, because these stories are not liabilities, they are assets, to speak that other women, whatever your experience has been, whether you’ve had an abortion, you’re a single parent, however those things are, we have to make them pluses, and not minuses,” said Butler, speaking on a panel during the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC Saturday.

Commenting on the challenges of increasing minority women’s political participation, Harris-Perry began the segment by saying, “Man, it is ugly in the political world …It does feel like the level of ugliness and attack can be a deterrent often for women showing up to run.”

“Yeah, exactly, and I’m thinking about what happened with [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry making that snide comment about Wendy [Davis]…and I think that’s what keeps women away from doing this,” replied Butler, associate professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at UPenn.

“Just like we did ‘Souls to the Polls’ in 2012, we need to do women to the polls, and women to run in 2014,” Butler continued.

“Uterus, to the polls!” Harris-Perry interjected. The panel was assembled for a segment on “how to make the most of political power minority women wield.”

Following her statement about the impact of personal history on women interested in running for office, Butler commented, “Republicans are going to put women out there who are, you know, a lot of show, and no tell.”

When CNSNews contacted Butler to further explain how abortions and single parenthood could be considered political advantages, she declined to comment.