There’s an assumption by many people in the United States that abortion restrictions are being driven by men in order to control women and force them into pregnancy. This, however, is far from the truth, as was pointed out by the Washington Post in a recent article focused on the women who are fueling the pro-life movement.
“Republican women elected in the past 20 years are more conservative than their earlier counterparts; at times they’re even more conservative than Republican men,” reported the Post. “In Congress and in state legislatures, Republican women actively support abortion restrictions and are especially likely to introduce such bills when the ideological distance between Democratic and Republican women grows — a distance that has been growing as the parties, in general, grow more polarized. According to our research, only the Republican and Democratic female legislators in California, Colorado and Arizona are more ideologically distant than those in Texas.”
According to The Washington Post, in 2021, Republican women in Texas either wrote or co-sponsored more than half of the 32 pro-life bills introduced in the Texas House and 10 of the 15 pro-life bills in the Texas Senate.
It was first-year Republican Rep. Shelby Slawson who introduced the House version of the Texas Heartbeat Act, which restricts abortion to before an embryonic heartbeat can be detected — usually at about six weeks though the heart begins to beat between 16 and 22 days post-fertilization. All six female Republican women in the Senate and all but two in the house co-sponsored that bill, which became law on September 1.
In other pro-life states, women are taking charge of restricting abortion as well.
In Missouri, Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman has vowed to introduce similar legislation to the Texas Heartbeat Act, and in Louisiana, Democratic Senator Katrina Jackson created the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. In 2011, Jane Porter, founder and president of the pro-life Faith2Action penned the heartbeat bill of which Texas’s law is modeled. She also played a large role in Ohio’s partial-birth abortion ban, a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and a state parental consent law surrounding abortion for minors. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has worked to enact pro-life laws, and recently issued an executive order to end the use of telemedicine to distribute the abortion pill.
Likewise, women are leading major pro-life organizations around the nation, including Live Action’s own president and founder Lila Rose; president of the National Right to Life, Carol Tobias; Judie Brown of American Life League; and leader of Americans United for Life, Catherine Glenn Foster.
The Washington Post also points out that conservative female judges are consistently voting to allow abortion restrictions to stand. When the Ninth Circuit ruled that taxpayer funded health clinics could not refer women for abortions, it was Sandra Ikuta who wrote the opinion. Jennifer Walker Elord co-wrote the Fifth Circuit opinion that allowed a second-trimester abortion procedure ban to stand. She was joined in that decision by three other women. Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit was one of three judges that allowed the Texas Heartbeat Act to go into effect, and Joan Larsen and Alice Batchelder of the Sixth Circuit voted to uphold a 48-hour abortion waiting period and a restriction on abortion due to a Down syndrome diagnosis.
And, of course, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is a frequent target of pro-abortion organizations and journalists, who have called the successful judge and mother of seven a “handmaid” despite her obvious successes outside of motherhood. Barrett sided with four other justices in the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Texas Heartbeat Act to stand, for now.
But it isn’t just high profile or powerful women who support restrictions on abortion. According to a 2017 Marist poll, the majority of American women are in favor of abortion restrictions, and do not want abortion to be government-funded. 77% of women said they want abortion limited to the first trimester, in line with the 74% of all Americans who agree.
Abortion is not pro-woman, and women’s rights do not include the right to kill anyone, let alone a woman’s own child. Women do not need abortion to be successful in their education, their career, or their relationships — and the majority of women in America know this.
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