One of the most underrepresented groups in politics today is the pro-life woman. Polls consistently show that women’s overall views on abortion are not really that different from men’s. In fact, on some occasions, polls will even peg women as slightly more pro-life than men.
And yet, the growing club of female politicians continues to be heavily dominated by those at the far pro-choice end of the spectrum. People like Nancy Pelosi or Debbie Wasserman Schultz can all too easily tar all pro-life legislation with the “anti-women” brush. Meanwhile, the women in politics who can say ‘Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz do not speak for me’ remain tragically outnumbered. Their voices, and the millions of voices nationwide which they represent, are all but lost.
Fortunately the situation has started to improve. The all-time low point came after the 1992 “Year of the Woman” elections. 27 new women were sent to Congress – every last one of them pro-choice. When the new Congress convened, 50 out of the 53 women were pro-choice, including 10 out of 13 Republicans.
Not coincidentally, 1992 was also the year of the Susan B. Anthony List’s founding. In the two decades since then, there’s been a lot of progress made toward getting the voices of pro-life women heard. I did some historical research on the breakdown of Republican women who have served in Congress since the Roe decision. Some of my classifications are admittedly judgment calls, but the overall picture is indisputable.
Republican women first elected from 1973-1979:
Pro-life – 1
Pro-choice – 4
Republican women first elected from 1980-1989:
Pro-life – 5
Pro-choice – 9
Republican women first elected from 1990-1999:
Pro-life – 8 (all after the SBA List’s 1992 founding)
Pro-choice – 11
Republican women first elected from 2000-2009:
Pro-life – 15
Pro-choice – 4
Republican women first elected from 2010-present:
Pro-life – 9
Pro-choice – 1
What a difference the SBA List has made! Hopefully in the future, the numbers will continue to move in a dramatically pro-life direction. To achieve anything close to overall parity though, progress will eventually have to be made within the Democratic party as well – a tall order indeed. One day, I hope that the pro-choice lobby’s claim to speak for women will be so implausible as to be laughable.