Q: Why did you decide to form the PAC Republicans for Choice?
A: Well, it's really interesting. I have been a Republican all my life and I have been political all my life. I believe in civil rights and rights for women. I am also a strong believer in individual rights. After 1973, the decision of Roe v. Wade, I knew that my party did not mean to be anti-choice, they were just mouthing the words ultimately. Nixon and Ford were pro-choice, so it really didn't bother me, but in the 70s the Republican Party got hijacked and essentially had a group take over the party. As a result after the 1980 campaign things started to heat up. In 1989 the Supreme Court had the Webster Decision which was the first decision ever to limit Roe v. Wade. It became a voting issue and in 1989 and 1992 I saw the party be crushed because of the issue of choice. There were two governorships that we didn't win because of the issue of abortion. People like myself became worried. I had dinner with Lee Atwater and he told me that if I wanted to do it they would need new spokespeople in the party to talk about the issue of abortion. Atwater said that they would need someone who was conservative and preferably a female. I decide to launch the organization with Nancy Johnson and Susan Molinari. A lot of the older pro-choice Republicans were really resentful that we got so much attention.
Q: Do you identify with all other traditional Republican views?
A: Absolutely, I am very much a believer. I am a fiscal conservative, an anti-communist and I think restraining the government is the way to go.
Q: What do you think the government needs to do with abortion as a whole?
A: Right now, Obama has done a lot of right things, he has reversed some of the Bush policies that were detrimental to pro-choice. If the government does not fund abortion, it becomes just abortion for rich people. We need more regulation. We need to be pursuing and encouraging more research into birth control and contraception that is based on something other than pre-1973 research. Prevention should be a big part of what government should encourage. They can have a lot of influence based on what they throw their weight at. Anti-choice people could help us dramatically cut down the abortion rate if they could join and focus on prevention. Most abortion is not teenage abortion, it is among women ages 18-35, and that is a matter of contraception but not being used properly. I have two friends, and OB-GYN and a heart doctor. The heart doctor says to the OB-GYN that his wife wants birth control so she goes in and decides on a diaphragm. Six weeks later, the OB-GYN asks the heart doctor how the contraception is working and the heart doctor wanted to know how long until his wife could take it out. 60% of abortion is due to failed contraception. If the two sides could work together and look into new contraceptive research that was really effective and people knew how to use, the abortion rate could be dramatically cut by 60%. If they are really serious about stopping abortion, they should go in that direction.
Q: What has your group done so far to help get your message out there?
A: When we were building the group, we mailed pieces all over the country. It helped because it let other pro-choice Republicans know that they were not alone. People of the Republican Party wanted to get back to their roots. The majority of the population is also pro-choice.
Q: Do you find yourself accepted by the Republican Party as a whole?
A: Those that have been in the party for a long time were pretty shocked. One of the first people to give us money was Richard Nixon. Our people being pro-choice does not mean that you are for abortion. Lots of people are against abortion personally but believe people should choose. Belief is an individual choice. So many people call themselves pro-life but they are not. They are personally against abortion but think other people should have the right to choose. In 1992, I had to have an armed body guard but in 2000 I was welcomed. We have helped elect a lot of people. Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC is our most moderate candidate we have helped elect.
Q: How does your group raise money and funds?
A: We raise it through donations from various people.
Q: How large of a support group do you have?
A: We have had up to 150,000 active people, but we do not have that many now.
Q: What role do you see your PAC as having in the future?
A: Right now one of the projects that we have is to try and get more of our folks to stand up and defend Steele. None of the moderates stood up to defend Steele against Rush Limbaugh's remarks. We've publicly supported him through Facebook and other social networks.