Rep. Schmidt: Women Should Be Pro-Life Because It's Their Responsibility To Give Birth

March 16, 2011 1:32 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Speaking on the House floor last night, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), one of the most vocal anti-abortion lawmakers in Congress, decided to honor Women's History Month by demagoguing abortion. During an hour-long session on the subject, which also included Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Schmidt argued that women "have the responsibility" to give birth.

SCHMIDT: See Mr. Speaker, every one of us has the right to life, born and unborn. And it is the women who have the responsibility to make sure that that baby is born. Unfortunately, our courts — over 33 years ago — decided to change that and said that women had the right to end that life. But Mr. Speaker, we don't have that right. It is our responsibility to bear those children.

Schmidt even suggested that Nathaniel Hawthorne might have been making a pro-life argument by casting Hester Prynne, the protagonist in his novel The Scarlet Letter, as a character who chose to have a child despite societal pressures. "What was Nathanial Hawthorne saying about the pregnancy?" Schmidt asked. "What was he saying about the birth of that child? Was he saying that child had the right to life? Or was Nathanial Hawthorne thinking other things. We don't know. But we can only wonder why he put her in prison and why he chastised her to the wildness."


Several months ago, Schmidt elicited a small controversy after telling elementary school students at a Cincinnati-area Catholic school that abortion "involves the killing of a child before it is born."