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Mary Powers

Mary Powers

Policy Advisor, Administration for Children and Families

Since college, Mary Elizabeth Powers has been a staunch anti-abortion activist, and after graduation began working for anti-choice organizations including Susan B. Anthony List. She has claimed that birth control and abortion have led to lower moral standards, more instances of infidelity and less respect for women by men.

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Powers’ role in HHS’s Office of the Secretary (OS) enables her to impact policy decisions at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which oversees key offices impacting women and children including the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and the Office on Trafficking in Persons.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Substitute Teacher, St. Rita Catholic School, 2016 – 2017

Self-Employed Writer (beat: elections, wrote for the following conservative outlets: The Pulse 2016, Catholic Vote, Townhall, The Washington Times, The Stream, The Federalist, The Christian Review and Catholic Online), 2016 – 2017

Deputy Development Director, American Media Institute, 2015 – 2016

Director of the President’s Office, Susan B. Anthony List, 2011 – 2015

Communications Director, Students for Life America, 2010 – 2011

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Mallory Quigley:

Powers worked with Quigley, who was then director of communications (now a vice president of communications) at Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List). In June 2014, they attended a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court celebrating the Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to allow corporations to opt out of providing birth control coverage to their employees on religious grounds. Quigley and Powers both spoke at the event. Powers declared, “We should not be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs with our hard-earned money”; Quigley praised the decision, calling it a “watershed moment.”

Susan B. Anthony List:

Powers worked for the president of SBA List, who once said her “perfect abortion bill” would totally outlaw abortion in the United States — no exceptions. “SBA List is the most politically active of the Washington anti-abortion groups,” according to Politico. The group endorsed Trump after he asked SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser to head his anti-abortion coalition and it heavily supported the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In 2012, SBA List defended Todd Akin following his remark that "legitimate rape" rarely results in pregnancy. This is unsurprising considering SBA List’s close association with the Life Issues Institute, whose founder, Dr. Jack C. Willke, pioneered the “legitimate rape” argument.

HIGHLIGHTS

Powers Opposed Abortion For Victims Of Rape And Supported Mandated Reporting, Even Against The Victims’ Wishes:

“Of course, the Pain Capable bill is not perfect. The pro-life movement will not stop fighting until all life is protected under law – even life conceived through rape. This post in no way endorses the thought that some children should live, and others should not. But if women who have been raped will be allowed to abort their child, then we are forced to choose between whether the law mandates that they report that rape or not. Protecting and empowering the woman to report her attacker is least we can do in these terrible situations.” [Catholic Vote, 1/23/15].

Powers Said That Rape Victims Should Not Be Allowed To Have Abortions:

In February 2016, Powers accused Senator Lindsey Graham of “using rape victims as a scapegoat to bash two of the Republican front runners.” In the article, Powers wrote “Every human being, whether conceived in the violence of a rape or the love of marriage, deserves the fundamental right to life. It is cruelly unfair for a child to be killed for the sins of his father. In addition, victims of sexual assault have already been through the violence of a rape. They don’t need violence upon violence with an abortion.” [The Pulse 2016, 2/3/16]

In 2014, Powers Referred To Birth Control As Synonymous With Abortion At A Rally In Support Of The Supreme Court’s Burwell V. Hobby Lobby Decision:

Powers called birth control “abortion causing drugs” that “destroy the sanctity of life.” [C-SPAN, 6/30/18]

Powers Reaffirmed Her Support For Her Alma Mater, University Of Dallas, Just After The University Hosted A “Marriage Conference” Focused On Preserving The “Traditional Heterosexual-Only Understanding Of Marriage.”

In January 2014, Powers “affirmed her support” for the University of Dallas to the National Catholic Register, which was writing an article on the University’s recommitment to its Catholic identity. The article discussed a “marriage conference” event hosted by the University of Dallas, which only featured presentations focusing on “how to preserve the traditional heterosexual-only understanding of marriage as the campaign to redefine marriage gains increasing public traction.” [National Catholic Register, 1/31/14]

THE WHOLE STORY

Mary Powers Does Not Believe In Abortion, Even For Survivors Of Rape

Powers Vocally Objects To Abortion Exceptions For Rape Survivors… 

In 2015, Powers Said That “The Pro-Life Movement Will Not Stop Fighting Until All Life Is Protected Under Law — Even Life Conceived Through Rape.” “Of course, the Pain Capable bill is not perfect. The pro-life movement will not stop fighting until all life is protected under law – even life conceived through rape. This post in no way endorses the thought that some children should live, and others should not. But if women who have been raped will be allowed to abort their child, then we are forced to choose between whether the law mandates that they report that rape or not. Protecting and empowering the woman to report her attacker is least we can do in these terrible situations.” [Catholic Vote, 1/23/15].

Powers Argued That “Victims Of Sexual Assault Have Already Been Through The Violence Of A Rape. They Don’t Need Violence Upon Violence With An Abortion.” “Every human being, whether conceived in the violence of a rape or the love of marriage, deserves the fundamental right to life. It is cruelly unfair for a child to be killed for the sins of his father. In addition, victims of sexual assault have already been through the violence of a rape. They don’t need violence upon violence with an abortion.” [Mary Powers, The Pulse 2016, 2/3/16]

…Powers Also Advocated For Reporting Requirements In Order For Rape Survivors To Obtain An Abortion

Powers Has Advocated For Reporting Requirements For Rape Survivors To Obtain An Abortion. “Because of this I believe the reporting requirement was one of the most important parts of the Pain Capable legislation… Of course, the Pain Capable bill is not perfect. The pro-life movement will not stop fighting until all life is protected under law – even life conceived through rape. This post in no way endorses the thought that some children should live, and others should not. But if women who have been raped will be allowed to abort their child, then we are forced to choose between whether the law mandates that they report that rape or not. Protecting and empowering the woman to report her attacker is least we can do in these terrible situations.” [Mary Powers, Catholic Vote, 1/23/15]

Powers Criticized Feminism And Has A Narrow View Of The Role Of Women In Society 

Powers Criticized Feminists For Wanting Equality “At The Price Of Their Own Fertility” And Suggested That Birth Control Has Led To Lower Moral Standards 

Powers Claimed That Birth Control And Abortion Have Led To Lower Moral Standards, Greater Infidelity, Less Respect For Women By Men. “And what is the most feminine part that is left behind while joining the virility of men? Women’s fertility. Again, von Hildebrand explains, ‘Feminism was born the day that the enemy convinced some ambitious women that they will never achieve greatness unless they liberate themselves from the burden to give birth that was so unfairly placed on their shoulders. He convinced them to believe maternity is a jail and it is high time that women free themselves from these unbearable chains.’ But what has come from this shedding of feminine fertility through contraception, abortion, and sterilization are lower moral standards, greater infidelity, less respect for women by men, and coercive use of reproductive technology by governments.” [Mary Powers, The Stream, 10/4/16]

Powers Criticized Feminism, Condemning “Radical Feminists’…Crusade For Total Equality With Men, Even At The Price Of Their Own Fertility.” “By viewing women as victims and joining the radical feminists in their crusade for total equality with men, even at the price of their own fertility, Kaine stands in direct opposition to the Church. He not only leaves behind its pro-life teachings but its teachings on women as well. Kaine’s worldview of women is tainted. Because of this, his policies as Vice-President would advance the radical, feminist agenda rather than a genuine flourishing of American women.” [Mary Powers, The Stream, 10/4/16]