Ellen McCormack Was an Anti-abortion Democrat Who Ran for President in 1976 and 1980


And I never heard of her until I read her obituary in The New York Times on March 30th.

Not that I am keeping track of the name of each woman ever to make a bid (I have read that more than 100 have done so), but she was quite successful and then seemingly slipped out of the public eye. 

This seems to be especially true for women candidates.  They not only receive less press when they run, they are quickly forgotten when they stop running.  That’s why every new book, chapter, article or blog that is written about women presidential candidates in the United States is worth reading.  Jo Freeman noted Ellen McCormack on her Web site.

Maybe we need a study about the “invisible” women presidential candidates like  McCormack, an antiabortion activist who drew attention to her cause and created controversy over campaign finance rules.  McCormack became the first female presidential candidate to qualify for Secret Service protection and federal campaign subsidies.

Before she made her presidential bid she had never held a political office.  She felt passionate about speaking out against a woman’s right to an abortion, cemented with the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade decision.  She is the only Democratic presidential candidate to advocate for a constitutional ban on abortion. 

Her grassroots campaign garnered over 200,000 votes in 18 primaries.   At the convention her name was placed into nomination along with Governor Jerry Brown,   Jimmy Carter and Rep. Morris K. Udall. 

She is survived by four children, including a son just down the way in Yardley, PA.  Tempting research project.

                Maybe we should be keeping a list of each and every woman who made a bid for the presidency. 



1 Response to “Ellen McCormack Was an Anti-abortion Democrat Who Ran for President in 1976 and 1980”

  1. September 13, 2012 at 3:12 am

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