These days, “mom” is king. It was perhaps the most frequently used word at the Republican National Convention this past week, where Ann Romney, mother of five, said, “It’s the moms of this nation . . . who really hold this country together.” Paul Ryan said his mother is his role model, and Chris Christie all but called himself a mama’s boy.
Republicans’ efforts to woo women have become fever-pitch pandering as the party tries to undo damage from comments such as Rep. Todd Akin’s remark that a “legitimate” rape victim can’t get pregnant and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s advice to women who object to invasive ultrasounds before an abortion: “You just have to close your eyes.”
But given the GOP’s extreme antiabortion platform, which does not include exceptions for rape or incest, focusing on motherhood as a gateway to women’s hearts and votes seems misguided. After all, no matter how many platitudes are thrown around, this is the party that wants motherhood not to be a choice, but to be enforced.