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When I was growing up, I was under the impression that there were hardly any female politicians who spoke for me. Oh, one would hear occasionally of conservative, pro-life women in positions of power—in much the same sense that one would hear of the Loch Ness Monster. They were said to be out there somewhere, and some people even reported having seen them, but for the most part they came across as elusive mythical figures.

Like many girls my age, I got used to the idea that pro-choice female politicians got all the attention, that "women's issues" and "women's rights" were usually a reference to abortion, and that the number of prominent women who represented my views could be counted on one hand.

Some things have changed since then. And some things haven't.

In the last few years, one conservative pro-life woman has run for vice-president of the United States, and another for President. For a generation of women like me who were all but resigned to the idea that such a thing could never happen, that's a pretty big deal. As I pointed out in my book 'Bring Her Down': How the American Media Tried to Destroy Sarah Palin, the Palin nomination had some conservative women literally weeping and cheering for joy. Steve Duprey, former New Hampshire GOP chairman, reported from Republican convention headquarters, "There were 10 or 12 women, party stalwarts, in tears, using napkins and handkerchiefs." Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life summed up the reaction: "She's lived it! It's so satisfying as a conservative woman. When she walked out on that stage there was just this moment. It was really emotional for a lot of us."

As members of a movement that has sometimes been slow to recognize the many invaluable contributions ...

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February 2012

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