This article was originally posted as a letter to the editor at the Columbus Dispatch here.
The Matriots have a laudable and worthwhile goal of engaging and financially supporting more female political candidates (Dispatch article, Sunday). It is unfortunate then to see them making a huge miscalculation by overlooking a
large contingent of strong, qualified candidates: pro-life women. By their own admission, they support women of any political party or ideology with the one exception of women who oppose abortion.
The advancement of women rests on any number of public policy issues. By limiting the pool of candidates they would support to only those who favor abortion, the Matriots would by their own measure fail to support some of Ohio’s most successful female lawmakers. For example, state Sen. Peggy Lehner is a former president of Ohio Right to Life, sponsor of multiple pro-life bills, and serves as chair of the Education Committee and the Children’s Caucus in the Ohio Senate. Sen. Kristina Roegner, sponsor of Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” chairs the powerful Ways and Means Committee and has also championed issues ranging from taxes to energy policy.
Pro-life freshman state Rep. Susan Manchester, at age 31, won her seat with 82% of the vote in her district, after a primary in which she defeated two male candidates.
Pro-life women are also not the exception. In public opinion polls, men and women poll fairly evenly in their support for the pro-life position, and women in fact tend to poll higher than men in opposing abortion.
The Matriots’ stated goal is to have 50% of elected offices held by women in 2028. So long as they exclude those of us who oppose abortion, they jeopardize their own mission.
Stephanie Ranade Krider, vice president, Ohio Right to Life