January 3 2013
By Alexandra Jaffe
A conservative women's group sees an historic number of women being sworn into the Senate on Thursday as a negative development.
Independent Women's Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer said in a statement that the increase in women, because they are mostly Democratic women, will be harmful for government.
"While a lot is being made about the record number of women joining the Senate, the reality is the majority of these women are Democrats – 16 of the 20 – and as a result we are likely to see higher taxes, bigger government, and less freedom," she said.
Schaeffer noted in the statement that while women and men "approach problems differently, and bring different talents to the table," she's "far less concerned" with increasing the influence of women on Congress and more interested in bringing in lawmakers "who believe in economic liberty and understand how progressive policies fail women and their families."
The increase in female senators to 20 has largely been lauded by members of both parties. Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), while warning against the notion of "women's issues" or political issues geared specifically towards female voters, told ABC News the increase in representation was important.
"I always push back the idea that there are women's issues. Because every issue from war to taxes to education affect women in this country. And that's why the point of having women be represented on all committees and leading many of them is so important," she told ABC News.
But Schaeffer cautioned: "These women are to be congratulated for their accomplishments; but in the end one’s political values are far more important than one’s gender."