INDIANAPOLIS — Republican women are among thousands of Hoosiers signing a letter warning lawmakers against passing further abortion restrictions.
"Personally, I am 100 percent a pro-life person,” Liz Childers said. “I would never make the decision (to have an abortion), there's too many options. But, then the other part of me, the Republican, the woman part of me, believes there should be no one that can tell me what I can and cannot do with my body."
Childers says she’s a lifelong Republican. A registered voter and active member of the party.
"When I think about being a Republican, for me it's fiscal responsibility as a country, as a state and you know minimize government in our lives,” she said.
For that reason, she's OK with the Supreme Court overturning the Roe decision. But she thinks Indiana lawmakers should leave current abortion restrictions as is.
Twin sister Norma Unser also signed the letter. Unser thinks the Supreme Court should have left the issue alone. Her fight against cancer helped form her strong belief in body autonomy.
"There's so many issues that come into play and you can't, you don't have to just be pro-life or pro-choice,” she said.
“As a lifetime Republican and supporter of the Republican party, I believe it’s a woman’s right to have those conversations and make those decisions with her physician,” Unser said. “I do not believe it is a politician or government’s position to make those decisions for us.”
The women, and the more than 2,000 other Hoosiers who signed the letter, warn lawmakers more restrictions will make Indiana a less desirable place for businesses and top female workers.
“I’ve also been in business,” Unser said. “I understand that we do want to recruit the best to Indiana, and putting restrictions on some of the brightest and best women that we can have is not going to help the state of Indiana.”
Childers would prefer lawmakers to put effort into reducing the number of abortions in the state with education. She thinks the state could also provide more supports to help families, so they don’t feel like abortion is necessary.
The 45-year-old is a 2014-2015 graduate of the Lugar Series, a leadership training program for Republican women. She has dreams of holding office as a Republican one day and knows some in her party will judge her.
“It was really tough to put my name on it,” she said. “Because it’s not something that you can just put your name on and walk away. But I also think it’s just as important for us all to have conversations about this topic and be open minded, and understand where people are coming from because it’s a tough one.”
While she believes life begins at conception, the Zionsville mother knows others have different beliefs.
“You have a choice to do it,” she said. “You have a choice ... I don’t think you should make that decision, but that doesn’t mean that I should be the one telling you that.”
These sisters know speaking out is uncommon, but they think more Republican women also believe as they do but aren’t sure how to articulate those views.
Hoosiers have until midnight Thursday to sign the letter. The authors plan to take it to the statehouse Friday morning ahead of lawmakers convening next Monday for a special session.