Winsome Sears, the first female and woman of color to hold the position of Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, is pro-life and has been since childhood. In an exclusive interview, Lt. Gov. Sears told Live Action News that growing up in Jamaica, there were certain things that everyone just knew were wrong, and abortion was one of them. And abortion remains illegal there.
“Our culture [in Jamaica] is different. It’s very much a Christian culture,” she explained. “We believe biblically that the baby in the womb has its own life and wants to live. I just grew up that way. That’s what drew me to the Republican party… I didn’t realize before that both parties had a difference of opinion of when life begins.”
The influence of politicians
Sears said she heard a commercial from George H.W. Bush when he was running for the presidency, and Bush “said he’s going to try to do away with abortion. By then, I had had my last baby and she was only three months old, and so I thought, ‘I never thought about that before,'” Sears noted. “That’s when it really solidified for me that I’m not supporting abortion.”
Bush was the Republican candidate for president in 1988, running against Michael Dukakis, a pro-abortion Democrat. Dukakis’ desire to expand abortion also influenced Sears’ realization that she would never support abortion. “[Dukakis] said he was going to expand abortion and I thought, ‘No, I don’t want that, and then my tax money is going to pay for that.’ It was a coming of age thing where I just finally I started really listening to political leaders,” she said. “I guess we all get there. Some of us get there earlier than others. And then having the Hyde Amendment — he wanted to get rid of that too.”
Both the Biden-Harris Administration and the current pro-abortion majority in Congress, have fought to do away with the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal taxpayer funding of abortions.
Sears had always wanted to go into politics, but never imagined herself as the candidate. Instead, she envisioned herself as the person running the campaign. After her time in the Marine Corps, she and her husband moved to Virginia. She attended college, worked at a homeless shelter, and then applied to Regent University, where she studied organizational leadership with the intention of becoming a campaign manager. Eventually, she realized that no one was asking for her opinion, and that her vote as a Black woman was taken for granted. Sears was then asked to run for the Virginia House. She agreed, and she won, becoming the first female Black Republican, female veteran, and naturalized citizen to serve in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Being pro-life has always been a part of her platform.
Abortion is “another form of slavery”
Sears refers to abortion and the sale of aborted children’s body parts as “another form of slavery.” The abortion rate in the Black community is considerably higher than the abortion rate among white women. Sears believes that this is, in part, because the abortion industry has made it so easy for women of color to access abortion.
“If you make something easier for people, then they are going to gravitate to it. It’s the path of least resistance,” she said. “So when [they] put their abortuaries in Black neighborhoods or in poor neighborhoods or in Hispanic neighborhoods, then is it any wonder that the abortion rates are higher in certain neighborhoods? You don’t have to look very far to figure out why something happens. You have to ask, ‘Is there an agenda?’ And what happens to these babies once they’re aborted? And we find out their body parts are sold. It’s another form of slavery. They just don’t call it that. But that’s what it is.”
What pro-lifers must do
Sears said that abortionists encourage women to have abortions by telling them they are incapable of being mothers in their current situations. In order to help bring the number of abortions down, especially in the Black community, Sears believes the pro-life movement must continue to do what it’s doing — but must reach more women to counteract the pro-abortion message.
“The pro-life movement is accused of only caring about the baby in the womb, but not when the baby is born, and we know that is not true,” she said. “We know that we provide diapers and all the pro-life clinics that I’ve been involved in there is help afterward, but we’re not singing our song. We don’t have ads, for example, on the television on the ‘right’ channels,” to reach the most abortion-vulnerable population. “We don’t have it on certain television shows that we know [the most abortion-vulnerable populations will] watch. We don’t have it, in the churches for example, in the bulletins. When I see most babies [in pro-life materials], they’re white. There is not the rainbow of babies that say ‘pro-life.’ So it doesn’t look like we care about the Black and the brown child” due to marketing that doesn’t represent minorities.
Sears suggested that pro-life centers and organizations should advertise in Black newspapers, and on Black and Christian radio stations, stressing that women can call them for help both before and after their babies are born. She believes there is a need for promotion of pro-life help centers in church bulletins, and that education — which she credits with helping her father to rise out of poverty — can make an impact on whether a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy and whether she chooses life.
“One of the ways to avoid the abortion rate being so high would be a good education. Education brings choices. Education brings delay in parenthood,” explained Sears. “It would behoove us to try to ensure that we have education choices. We know that the public schools are just pushing one idea and it’s generally contraception, contraception, contraception, without really talking about where we think faith comes in.”
How Black pastors can help
Sears suggests that churches in Black communities could help to provide leadership in this area. “We could come alongside Black churches who are preaching — not a watered-down gospel, but to say, no, we want to keep our babies, and sex before marriage is not what God wants. So it would behoove us to call the pastors and say, this is what we can offer. There are so many Black churches that have schools attached to them. We can encourage them to contact their Democratic representatives, because that’s generally who are in these districts, and let them know that we as Black pastors don’t agree with your message, and here’s what we want. We want school choice on top of that.”
With pro-lifers like Sears elected to positions where they can make a difference, pro-lifers could see more protections for the most vulnerable human beings. Even though most will face legal challenges, every step toward ending abortion is a positive step.
“Sometimes the win is incremental,” Sears said. “You might not get everything you want at one time, but don’t leave the battlefield, because you lose 100% of the battles you walk away from. Keep at it, keep at it, and we’ll see successes.”
Winsome Sears served in the United States Marine Corps, is a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, and is the 2021 Republican winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s race in Virginia.
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