TAMPA, Fla. – Pro-life leaders honored pro-life women politicians at a gathering Thursday during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The "Celebration of Pro-Life Women Leaders" came as some argued that the Republicans' pro-life platform will hurt the party's chances with women voters.
The Republican Party is in danger of becoming extinct if it stays pro-life, Kathleen Parker wrote in a Sunday editorial for Newsweek.
"The GOP, through its platform, its purity tests, pledges, and its emphasis on social issues that divide rather than unite, has shot itself in the foot, eaten said foot, and still managed to stampede to the edge of the precipice. Is extinction in its DNA?" she wrote.
Parker is a conservative on some issues but pro-choice on the issue of abortion. In particular, Parker argued that the Republican Party would lose because it would lose the women's vote.
"When the conversation shifts to abortion and contraception (contraception!), women begin to fear that their rights are in jeopardy," Parker argued.
In response, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) told The Christian Post, "That's actually disrespectful of the views of women because women have a variety of views and there are many women that are pro-life. In fact, the recent polling on it [shows] a majority of the country is pro-life. I think, as Republicans, we respect the people's views and to say that we respect the sanctity of life is, to me, not one that will harm the Republican Party, it is one we should embrace."
Ayotte was one the pro-life women politicians honored at the event – hosted by Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life Action, and Citizenlink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family – along with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Lt. Governor Rebecca Clayfish (Wisc.) and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Parker "clearly needed to be here today," Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, told The Christian Post. "She needed to see the breadth, the depth of intelligent, conservative, pro-life women who are actively involved in the party. We are the future of this party. We are here for a positive message, one of life.
"We will fight on, no matter what the Kathleen Parker's of the world say. This is the future of the Republican Party – conservative, pro-life women."
During her speech at the event, Bondi said her family has always been pro-life, but the issue gained relevance after her sister gave birth to a child with Down syndrome.
"Emma is the heart and soul of our lives now," Bondi said. "It breaks my heart to think how many people would have chosen not to keep that precious angel. She is truly God's greatest gift to my family, by far."
Parker had also implied that the Republican Party is radical on abortion, because it does not include an exception for rape.
Nance argued, on the other hand, that a child conceived from a rape deserves the same protection as one conceived from consensual sex.
"It is very difficult to talk about the rape issue because it is such a horrific crime," Nance said. "We understand, though, that the hopeful message is one of life. We don't want to further injure women who have been raped and the baby doesn't know the difference. The child is innocent, and there are two million parents waiting to adopt. We consistently believe in life, and we believe in a life of the mother exception."
Nance also argued that it is President Barack Obama's positions on abortion that are radical.
"This president voted four times against the Born Alive Victims Act, which simply gave babies who survived an abortion the right to medical care – the ones that were late term and the abortion was botched. In Chicago, where they were put in a linen closet to die, this president fought against saving medical care. This is the most pro-abortion president in history. He's against legislation that limited abortion in the case of sex-selection and somehow that makes him pro-women? I don't think so. I think the real radical in this conversation is this president."