The youngest Republican female member of Congress says her mother’s courageous decision to choose life is a narrative the pro-life movement needs more of.
“The thing that we struggle with,” said Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) in an interview with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly that will air on Thursday evening, “is personal stories, and the storytelling aspect. People learn so much more through a story.”
Cammack is one of 18 new female House members who identify as pro-life. Before serving in Congress as deputy chief of staff to former congressman Ted Yoho, she was a small business owner and graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.
Yet when she was still in her mother’s womb, Cammack said that doctors told her mother that her life was at stake with the pregnancy; they advised her to have an abortion. Cammack’s mother had suffered a stroke years before, after which doctors warned her she wouldn’t have another child.
“She eventually told my grandmother,” Cammack recalled, “and my grandmother just said ‘do you really want to die?’”
“And I can’t imagine my mom at a time—single mother, scared—and her own mother telling her to abort,” she said.
“The pressure and stress that my mom was under, the fear of the unknown, really—can you imagine waking up every day and your doctors have told you that you’re not going to survive this pregnancy, and you’re making that conscious choice of ‘I’m keeping this baby, I’m doing this,’ and you could very well die,” she remarked.
Yet her mother chose life amid immense difficulties. “She had something inside of her that told her that everything was going to be okay,” Cammack said of her mother. “And that, to me, is the most powerful, impactful thing that really has shaped my views on this.”
Cammack says that her mother’s story of choosing life speaks volumes about the power of personal witness.
“That’s something that, when you talk to women who are struggling with that, and they see that there has been a situation—multiple situations where it has turned out okay—that is the inspiration that people need to know that they have options,” she said.
Personal narratives of pro-life women are necessary to building a culture of life, Cammack said.
“It’s just so important that we have these new voices that have personal stories, that have narratives,” she said, pointing to the significance of the rise of pro-life women representatives. The group Susan B. Anthony List noted that the total number of pro-life women members is at a record high in the House.
“You have women that are mothers that are telling a story of challenges that they’ve overcome,” Cammack said.
“This is tipping the scales back to a balance, because for so long, we’ve had women in leadership roles that are very, very pro-choice. And the pro-life voice has been drowned out. So this is restoring a balance in Congress that really hasn’t existed before, and that’s exciting,” she said.