Project Sheila Won’t Compromise on Abortion Rights

By Eliza Cussen, Founder 

Eliza Cussen, Project Sheila founder

I’m an immigrant and yes, I get the job done. Every newcomer to America is in a constant state of deciding which elements of American culture to take on. I will take your buffalo wings, but you can keep your two party system.

In my native Australia we have two leading parties, but that doesn’t translate to a two party system. In my lifetime, Labor, The Greens, and the Australian Democrats have all vied for votes from the left and have all held positions of influence in the Federal Senate. In my senior year of college, I interned for GetUp, the Aussie equivalent of There, I developed a love of advocacy over politics and found I felt more at home on the outside throwing rocks than inside a party machine.

It made sense to me that when I moved to America, I got a job putting left wing politicians through their paces. When I worked for NARAL in Wisconsin, it was my literal job to give candidates a litmus test on abortion, something that the Democratic National Committee will no longer bother with. As reported in The Hill, the DNC will offer financial support to Democratic candidates who oppose abortion. In other words, the Democratic Party is prepared to win at any cost, even if it costs women’s lives.

The DNC has come to this position under the belief that being the pro-choice party will prevent them from winning the 24 Congressional Districts they need to retake the house in 2018. With 70% of Americans supporting legal abortion, this is clearly untrue.

In 2017, the waters are far murkier than Democrat=pro-choice, Republican=anti-choice. 2017 research by the Pew Forum found that a whopping 22% of Democrats believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. And before you start blaming men (as we nasty women are wont to do), support for abortion is almost identical among men and women regardless of party affiliation.

What is clear is that we can’t take our eyes off Democratic leadership for a second and that if we want abortion to remain legal in the United States, we need a massive shift in the culture of the left. The quickest way to do that? Elect more women, and make sure they have the ovaries to stand up for reproductive freedom.

The DNC might not have a litmus test for abortion, but Project Sheila does. Our job is to help create a future where women make up at least half of government. In this Utopia, I predict that abortion will no longer be a “wedge issue” or abstract topic for men to debate. In the female future, abortion will simply be healthcare.


Ready to run? We make running a digital campaign affordable for all progressive women running for elected office. Let’s chat about how we can get you elected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *