The Deacon's Bench

That’s the idea behind this op-ed piece by Ramesh Ponnuru in the New York Times:

When President George W. Bush signed the bill banning partial-birth abortion in 2003, supportive legislators gathered around for a photograph. All of them were men. Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, called the image “a slap in the face to women across America.”

My fellow pro-lifers winced at the picture — both because it offered Ms. Pelosi a political opportunity and because it reflected an enduring political weakness of our movement. American women are just as likely to be pro-life as American men, but few pro-life women have gone into politics.

The Gallup organization recently concluded that “abortion polling since the mid-1970s finds few remarkable distinctions between men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion.” It has found that 48 percent of American women consider themselves pro-life, while 45 percent consider themselves pro-choice.

There are many millions of pro-life women, but there are only 13 in the House. The Senate has no pro-life women. Even Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Republican who votes with pro-lifers on many issues, says she favors Roe v. Wade. All of the women who have served on the Supreme Court have supported Roe, too.

Pro-life women have not even found representation among Republican first ladies, all of whom in the post-Roe era have been pro-choice. One reason that Sarah Palin’s nomination for vice president in 2008 was so immediately polarizing is that she instantly became the most prominent pro-life woman American politics has ever produced.

Sarah Palin is about to get some company. Two pro-life women won Republican nominations for the Senate this week. A Tea Party favorite, Sharron Angle, and the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina are running for the Senate from Nevada and California, respectively.

A third pro-life woman, Susana Martinez, became the party’s nominee for governor of New Mexico, and a fourth, Nikki Haley, a South Carolina state legislator, is expected to be a gubernatorial nominee in her state. If they win their primaries, Kelly Ayotte, the former attorney general of New Hampshire, and Jane Norton, the former lieutenant governor of Colorado, will also be pro-life Senate candidates in November.

Check out the rest here.

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