Opinion

Abortion advocates cry foul when Illinois governor hires a pro-life communications specialist

Recent news makes it appear as if abortion advocates want to control the communication from the Illinois governor’s office. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a new member of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s cabinet is causing some chaos for those who advocate abortion.

Recently appointed communications specialist Brittany Carl has made outspoken pro-life statements that have been celebrated by some and condemned by others.

The paper reports that Carl, who makes $45,000 annually as a communications specialist, is also the editor and publisher of Reclaiming Feminism, a blog with a conservative bent. The paper reports on Carl’s controversial statements:

In an April blog post, Carl commented on a Huffington Post article about a Catholic high school in Canada that had been criticized for screening an anti-abortion video that compared the procedure to the Holocaust.

“Certainly nothing matches the atrocity of the Holocaust, but it’s undeniable that abortion is being used to rid the world of disabled and other ‘unwanted’ persons — a fact the Left and their pro-abortion allies don’t want discussed,” Carl wrote.

Carl also wrote about parents aborting babies diagnosed with Down syndrome: “Attempting to rid the world of people with Down syndrome simply because they are different constitutes the dangerous and morally reprehensible practice of eugenics not entirely unlike what was practiced in . . . Nazi Germany.”

Rauner himself has been fraught with controversy since taking office. Running as a seemingly paradoxical “pro-choice Republican,” he has managed to upset both pro-lifers and abortion supporters. He’s been called “disingenuously inconsistent” by Chicago Magazine, which argued that “As soon as Bruce won the nomination, out came Diana [Rauner’s wife], trumpeting her husband’s politically correct views on abortion and other social issues.” In fact, the Chicago Sun-Times notes that “Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to abortion rights groups jointly and through their family’s not-for-profit foundation.”

Now Rauner’s controversy has shifted to another level with his hiring of Carl. The paper notes that  “the shift in Rauner administration employees shows he’s moving further to the right.” And abortion advocates are taking note. The paper says:

A Republican operative said Diana Rauner should be concerned. “I would like to know, the first lady, who is a known pro-choice advocate, how she feels about this,” the operative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. “Really she should be weighing in.”

Personal PAC, an abortion rights group that took aim at the Rauners earlier this year, blasted them on Wednesday for the recent hires.

“This is just further evidence as to what a complete fraud Governor Rauner and Diana Rauner truly are. They have spent tens of millions of dollars lying to Illinois voters about being pro-choice and moderate,” Terry Cosgrove, Personal PAC CEO said in a statement. “Hiring racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic right-wing activists to run Illinois government puts them on a race to the bottom in competition with Donald Trump as to who can be the most destructive.”

And the Sun-Times also reports:

The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also called on Carl to retract her statement.

“Any analogy comparing the Holocaust to the national debate over abortion is historically inaccurate, inappropriate and offensive especially to survivors and their families,” regional director Lonnie Nasatir said in a statement.

What’s so notable about these comments is something that one of the governor’s spokespeople points out about Carl’s writing. Laurel Patrick, Rauner’s communications director, told the Sun-Times:

Any of the writing Brittany did before she worked for the state reflect her personal opinion, not the opinion of the administration. If you’re going to quote from her past writing, she asks that you please quote accurately and with full context.

Carl has just started her job. Yet abortion defenders think she might be unfit for the job because she has personal opinions which differ from their own.

The very free speech upon which the United States was founded is the problem that the abortion lobby has with Carl. She has been hired to assist with the governor’s communication. This is a job that is rooted in the governor’s opinions, not Carl’s. She could no more use that position to espouse her personal feelings on abortion than a pro-abortion employee could. Governmental communications jobs exist to support the leader. All the work put out by communications office staff must be approved and endorsed by the employer. It shouldn’t matter what anyone’s personal feelings about an issue are if it doesn’t interfere with her job. Ironically, even Rauner’s wife, an abortion supporter, might realize that. The anonymous commenter quoted by the Sun-Times insists that Mrs. Rauner “should be weighing in” on Carl’s hiring. Perhaps Mrs. Rauner realizes that Carl is entitled to have any opinions she wants as a free American citizen who can think for herself. Perhaps she realizes that Carl was hired for her ability to do a good job, rather than being discriminated against for her opinions which have no bearing on her ability to do her job.

Some recognize Carl as a strong hire. The Sun-Times reports:

But Illinois Right to Life dubbed Carl a “strong intelligent pro-life woman,” and called attacks on her a “discriminatory smear campaign.”

“Our state is on the verge of financial collapse and pro-abortion Democrats are standing knee deep in dredging up abortion quotes rather than fixing our state’s current financial crisis,” the anti-abortion group’s executive director Emily Troscinski said. “Democrats seem more upset that Gov. Rauner didn’t consult them when hiring his new, well qualified staff than with the real problems facing Illinois.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” A good writer and communicator can actually understand diverse views and still do a job that may not always support them. Carl may be just that type of person. At the very least, she deserves the right to prove herself in a job, just as anyone does. Contrary to what the abortion industry may think, sometimes people are hired for a job because they are actually the most qualified candidate for the position, not because of their personal opinions.

Abortion advocates might want to look to Carl as an example rather than a threat.

Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily the official position of Live Action.

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