Analysis finds lowest rates of female political representation in states passing abortion bans

Analysis finds lowest rates of female political representation in states passing abortion bans
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States passing restrictive abortion legislation have the lowest rates of women represented in politics, according to an analysis of data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Alabama, which passed a measure this week that would ban almost all abortions, with exceptions only to save the life of the woman, has a female governor but only four female state senators, putting it in 47th place in a ranking of states by female representation.

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In addition to Alabama, two other states that recently passed restrictive abortion laws ranked in the bottom 10 for representation of women in the state legislature: Mississippi, at 13.8 percent, and Kentucky, at 22.5 percent. Ohio, which recently passed a so-called "heartbeat" bill banning abortions after six weeks, is ranked 30th for representation. Just over a quarter, 26.2 percent, of the state legislature are women. Georgia, which also passed a heartbeat bill, is the only state in the top half of the rankings, at number 20 with women accounting for 15 of 56 state senators and 57 of 180 House members.

“Research has shown that women legislators bring different perspectives” on numerous policy issues, Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics, told ABC News. “They bring their own life experience to bear on whatever the topic is, and they are more likely to bring marginalized voices into the policy conversation."

Sinzdak noted that while women have diverse feelings on abortion and policy related to it, it is “an issue in which women on both sides of the aisle are particularly passionate, and they feel that they, as women, are best suited to speak to it because of its direct effect on women.