U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, rejected the traditional method of swearing her ceremonial oath on a Bible Thursday and used a copy of the Constitution instead.
The new Senate Democrat, labeled a “longtime pro-abortion extremist” by the Susan B. Anthony List, identifies as religiously unaffiliated, according to the Arizona Republic.
She narrowly defeated pro-life Republican Martha McSally in the November midterm election. However, McSally later was appointed to the state’s second U.S. Senate seat, held by the late Sen. John McCain.
The state news outlet contrasted the positions of the two new female Senators:
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, took her ceremonial oath of office using a copy of the Constitution rather than a religious book, as most members usually do.
By contrast, U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, a Republican, took her oath using a Bible recovered from the USS Arizona, which sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Sinema’s move, while legally irrelevant, may only heighten speculation that she is an atheist.
Vice President Mike Pence ended Sinema’s oath with the usual words, “so help you God?” Sinema responded, “I do.” Afterward, he noted that he looked forward to working with her in the Senate.
Officially, Sinema identifies herself as religiously unaffiliated, and is the only member of the House or Senate to do so, according to the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life.
On the abortion issue, both women also hold very different views. Sinema’s pro-abortion position is out of touch with most Americans, including most women. As a congresswoman, she repeatedly voted to fund the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, with nearly half a billion tax dollars.
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She also voted against a late-term abortion ban that has strong public support, including by a majority of women. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would have banned abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain and are near the point of viability.
“Kyrsten Sinema is a longtime pro-abortion extremist. As a state legislator, Sinema opposed even modest measures to protect the health and safety of mothers and their preborn children,” said Cathi Herrod, president of CAP Action in Arizona just prior to the election.
In contrast, McSally is strongly pro-life.