If Republicans had engaged in a so-called “War on Women,” surely a former Miss America winner would know about it. As a spokeswoman for women, Miss America represents both the interests of women and the United States on an international level.
But, Erika Harold, who won the Miss America contest in 2003 before graduating from Harvard Law School, says that’s not true. Here are the details from the Washington Examiner:
“If I thought that the Republican Party wasn’t a welcoming place for women, I wouldn’t run, because making sure that women have the ability to pursue their aspirations both professionally and within their families is something that’s very important to me,” Harold replied when The Washington Examiner raised the topic during a phone interview conducted in two parts on Thursday and Friday. Harold added that she wants “to show that principles of economic freedom and limited government are not part of the ‘war on women’ but can actually empower women.”
To that end, she suggested that “it’s important for our party that we do promote strong women in the Republican Party, because that’s a great way of showing that, not only is there no war, but that we support women that want to stand for conservative principles.”
Harold goes on to say that there is nothing anti-woman about opposition to the HHS mandate, that compels religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
For instance, Harold opposes the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate or contraception mandate contained within Obamacare, because she believes it forces religious groups to violate their principles.
“[T]he HHS mandate is not protective enough of religiously-affiliated institutions, because they have the right to operate themselves in a way that are consistent with the values that are important to them,” Harold said. “And it’s aside from whether I disagree or agree with the particular views that they have. Protecting religious liberty is a fundamental value of our country that should be respected regardless of the [group’s] religious background.
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Harold, who did a stint at Sidley & Austin — where Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, practiced law before her — said she has defended religious organizations during her time as a lawyer. “Any time an organization’s right to define itself is infringed upon, each one of us is a little less free,” she said.
Harold is running for Congress in Illinois.