National Pro-life Women's Caucus
The National Pro-life Women’s Caucus aims to foster community between pro-life women lawmakers across the country, and connect them with the resources they need to pass pro-life laws. Directed by SBA List Vice President for Government Affairs and former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, the Caucus will also actively encourage and recruit pro-life women to run for higher office.
Meet the National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus Initial Leadership Team
Governor Jan Brewer, Arizona
Since taking over the Governor’s mansion in 2009, Jan Brewer has been a true pro-life champion. 2012 in particular was a banner year, as Gov. Brewer signed into law a model bill drafted by the SBA List and Alliance Defending Freedom that ends taxpayer funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, and re-distributes the funding to entities that promote women’s health but do not perform abortions. On top of that, she signed into law a bill that bans abortions in the state at 20 weeks.
Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma
Mary Fallin is a trailblazer for the pro-life women’s movement. She has served as a state representative, a Lieutenant Governor, a Member of Congress, and now of course as a Governor of Oklahoma. As a Congresswoman, Fallin consistently defended life and fought the huge expansion of abortion in Obamacare. Returning home, Fallin was, with our support, elected Oklahoma’s first woman Governor in 2010. She has continued to stand up for life as Governor, recently signing a commonsense abortion reporting bill and legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood.
Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, Indiana
Ellspermann stunned the political world in 2010, when she won election to the Indiana House of Representatives by defeating the 14-year incumbent Democratic Floor Majority Leader. Before entering politics, she was an active member of Vanderburgh County Right to Life. When in the state legislature, Ellspermann quickly established herself as a steadfast leader on the life issue, working to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding in the state’s Medicaid program. Her record impressed gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence, and he chose her as his running mate.
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin
Rebecca Kleefisch is truly a rising pro-life star. In 2010, she entered politics and won election as Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. She and her running mate, Governor Scott Walker, were such successful pro-life leaders that they were targeted in a Planned Parenthood-supported recall election in June 2012, which they won with more support than before. Earlier this year, Kleefisch was awarded the SBA’s Distinguished Leader Award at our annual Campaign for Life Gala.
Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds, Iowa
As Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds joined SBA List for the 2011 Values Voters Bus Tour through Iowa and helped us rally support for pro-life Congressman Steve King, who defeated pro-abortion congressional candidate Christie Vilsack last year. Before becoming Lieutenant Governor, Reynolds served in the Iowa State Senate, where she was a vocal supporter of pro-life legislation. She regularly joins marchers at the Iowa March for Life.
Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama
Kay Ivey, an Alabama pro-life leader, was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2010, defeating a three-term incumbent with the support of SBA List’s candidate fund. Previously, Ivey served eight years as state Treasurer; she was the first Republican elected to that office since Reconstruction and was re-elected with the highest number of votes of any statewide candidate in a contested race in 2006. Ivey has played a crucial role in better regulating abortion clinics in Alabama by being a strong supporter of the Women’s Health and Safety Act.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida
After a career as a county prosecutor, Pam Bondi was elected Florida Attorney General in 2010. A consistent defender of life, Bondi was the lead Attorney General who challenged the pro-abortion Obamacare law, and she took the case all the way to the US Supreme Court. Bondi has advocated for Florida pro-life legislation, including the recent bill that will protect infants born alive after failed abortions. A particularly moving pro-life experience for her involved her sister giving birth to a child with Down syndrome, whom Bondi calls “God’s greatest gift to my family.”
Senator Nancy Barto, Arizona
SBA List first met Senator Barto during the fight to defund Planned Parenthood in Arizona. She championed the SBA List/Alliance Defending Freedom model legislation in the Senate, and met Rep. Musgrave in her office, calling Marilyn one of her heroes. She co-signed an op-ed in the Arizona Republic with Marjorie Dannenfelser when Planned Parenthood attacked Gov. Brewer for signing our model legislation into law.
Senator Cecile Bledsoe, Arkansas
We got to know Senator Bledsoe when she ran for Congress in 2010, narrowly loosing in the primary. She is now the chairwoman of the Senate Health Committee in Arkansas, which is now under pro-life Republican control for the first time since the 1800s. This year, she championed the Obamacare abortion exchange opt-out that was signed into law by the democratic Governor.
Senator Sharon Weston Broome, Louisiana
Senator Broome is a true pro-life leader who in 2012 championed a bill signed into law by Gov. Jindal that requires women to listen to the fetal heartbeat before having an abortion, and see an ultrasound. Incredibly, her bill passed the State Senate 33-3, and no one spoke out against it. She’s the past recipient of Louisana Right to Life’s Defender of Life Award. We hope that she will be an inspiration to pro-life Democrat women across the country.
Delegate Kathy Byron, Virginia
Delegate Byron is a longtime pro-life leader in Virginia and a wonderful friend both to the SBA List and our allies at the Virginia Family Foundation. Rep. Byron championed the ultrasound bill in Virginia, standing strong despite a flood of lies and attacks by the pro-abortion lobby and the media.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, New Jersey
Assemblywoman Casagrande is the youngest assemblywoman ever elected in the state of New Jersey. She was an outspoken defender of Gov. Chris Christie when he directed family planning funding away from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. She was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer saying that the funding would instead go to "legitimate clinics that perform actual health services." Last January, Casagrande spoke at the NJ Right to Life rally saying, “A new generation of young women rejects the illusion that to be pro-woman is to be pro-choice."
Representative Terri Collins, Alabama
Not only is she a consistent pro-life vote, Rep. Collins lives her pro-life beliefs as a volunteer and fundraiser for Save-A-Life, a pregnancy resource center in her hometown of Decatur. Rep. Collins was also an outspoken advocate for the abortion facility health and safety regulations bill that was signed into law this year and sponsored by fellow leadership team member Rep. McClurkin. She was quoted in the media saying, “I am not supportive of abortions but I am very supportive of women and wanting to keep them safe.”
Representative Jane Cormier, New Hampshire
Rep. Cormier sponsored the 2013 Abortion Information Act, which would require that prior to an abortion a woman receive information about what happens to the mother and baby during the abortion, and about abortion risks. The mother would also receive information about programs that could help with medical care during pregnancy and laws requiring fathers to contribute to the support of their children. Finally, the mother would also have to be informed of her right to change her mind. We look forward to helping Rep. Cormier advance this pro-woman legislation.
Senator Margaret Dayton, Utah
We first met Senator Dayton when she introduced our defunding Planned Parenthood model legislation in Utah in 2012. In 2013, Senator Dayton championed abortion reporting legislation that was signed into law by the Governor. In that battle, she relied on the abortion reporting white paper done by Chuck Donovan at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. She wants to continue the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider, in Utah and wants to ban sex-selective abortions in the state.
Senator Judy Emmons, Michigan
Sen. Emmons co-chairs the MIchigan legislature’s Pro-Life Caucus. She is passionate about ending human trafficking and has introduced legislation to increase penalties of facilitators.
Representative Ellie Espling, Maine
At a pro-life rally at the state capitol in 2012, Rep. Espling said, “This is a heart issue, because our hearts break for the countless women who have felt trapped by a culture that continues to push abortion as a solution to a problem.” Rep. Espling’s pro-life activism does not stop with just words, as she proudly sponsored an Informed Consent bill which would require doctors to provide a brochure written by the state that outlines the risks and alternatives to abortion.
Senator Anitere Flores, Florida
Senator Flores is the first Hispanic Republican to serve in both the Florida House and Senate since the 80s. She has sponsored a bill to ban late-term abortions, an ultrasound bill, a 24-hour waiting period bill, and a bill that would require that physicians own abortion clinics operating in the state. This year, she’s sponsoring an infant born-alive act (similar to the one that President Obama voted against when he was in the IL State Senate).
Representative Bette Grande, North Dakota
This year, Rep. Grande has been very busy protecting unborn babies: She was the whistleblower of a secret grant to Planned Parenthood, facilitated by a state university (she successfully stopped it), championed a bill that bans abortions at 6 weeks if a heartbeat is detectable that was signed into law; and championed a bill that bans sex-selective abortions and in cases of fetal abnormality (the first in the nation).
Representative Mary Sue McClurkin, Alabama
This year, she is championing an abortion facility health and safety regulations bill that would also require physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals; require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications.
Assemblywoman Allison McHose, New Jersey
Assemblywoman McHose is the lead sponsor of legislation that would opt the state out of abortion funding in the state exchange under Obamacare. She’s also worked to curb taxpayer funding of abortion, saying publicly, “If you want to lower the abortion rate in this state, stop the taxpayer funding of abortions.” She also has consistently worked to expose Planned Parenthood, and didn’t hesitate to blast out a press release when the Lila Rose videos came out exposing a Planned Parenthood employee working in an New Jersey clinic.
Representative Wendy Nanney, South Carolina
As a freshman in the legislature, Rep. Nanney successfully sponsored a 24-hour wait period before an abortion. A political blog in the state described the debate on the bill as “fireworks going off,” but said she stood strong during cross-examination by pro-abortion legislators, even as just a freshman member.
Representative Jeanine Notter, New Hampshire
Rep. Notter was the lead sponsor in 2012 of New Hampshire’s Women’s Right to Know Act which would ensure that women in New Hampshire have a 24-hour wait period before abortion, giving them more time to contemplate. She’s not afraid of voicing her pro-life views, saying publicly, "I have always been pro-life. I saw pictures of aborted babies when I was in the fifth grade. I don't know if that was what made me pro-life or if I would have been anyway."
Representative Donna Oberlander, Pennsylvania
Rep. Oberlander is sponsoring legislation that would opt Pennsylvania out of abortion coverage under the Obamacare exchange: “Pro-life, pro-choice, undecided or indifferent, the vast majority of PA taxpayers do not support their tax dollars being used to further the practice of abortion on demand… This legislation is not only consistent with the will of the people, but more importantly the current rule of Commonwealth law that already prohibits even one penny of taxpayer dollars from funding any elective abortion procedure.”
Representative Lenette Peterson, New Hampshire
Rep. Peterson was a leading co-sponsor and outspoken proponent of the 2012 Women’s Right to Know Act, saying on the floor that it was a “pro-educational” bill and that “education is key to making an informed decision.” In 2013, she sponsored legislation that would protect babies with detectable heartbeats. She has a perfect voting record with Cornerstone Action, and she is hailed by New Hampshire Right to Life as a true leader in the state.
Representative Kathy Rapp, Pennsylvania
Last year Rep. Kathy Rapp introduced ultrasound legislation, saying: “I don’t believe that women have all the information they need to make a decision that will impact the rest of their lives.” When asked by a media outlet why she is sponsoring pro-life legislation and not just focusing on the economy, she said, “We multitask. We don’t handle one issue at a time.”
Senator Katrina Shealy, South Carolina
Not only is Sen. Shealy the only pro-life woman in the Senate – she’s the only woman in the Senate period. She is strongly pro-life, publicly stating on her campaign website: “Katrina Shealy will protect the right to life from conception through natural death. She believes that all human life, born and unborn, has intrinsic value.” We are excited to work with her as she provides a much-needed pro-woman, pro-life voice in the South Carolina State Senate.
Representative Patricia Strachota, Wisconsin
Rep. Strachota was a leading sponsor of the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act. She’s boldly defended a slew of pro-life initiatives that have successfully passed in Wisconsin since Republicans completely took over the state in 2010, led by Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
Senator Kimberly Yee, Arizona
Senator Yee was a key player in Arizona's fight to defund Big Abortion. At the same time she was also the sponsor of a 20-week ban on abortions in the state. The bill also put new restrictions on chemical abortions, and increased the waiting period before an abortion from one hour to 24 hours. We were ecstatic when Rep. Yee was elected to the Senate in 2012.