Jackie Curtiss, 22, has taken a stance against abortion (although she supports an exception for rape victims). But she understands that some issues related to birth control and women’s health are causing a gender and generational divide in the Republican Party, and she isn’t afraid to speak up about it.
This year, Curtiss, the youngest member (by far) of the Republican platform committee, told the other members at the Republican National Convention that they needed to make sure the party shows that it welcomes women — and that banning the morning-after pill isn’t the way to do that, Buzzfeed reported. “I’m a little disappointed that the Republican Party didn’t take into account that with college educated women, they support Barack Obama 63-32 percent,” Curtiss told Buzzfeed after the meeting. “Some of these issues are the reason for that.”
The college student from the University of Montevallo in Alabama was originally a delegate for Rick Santorum. She reportedly was the only person who mentioned Rep. Todd Akin’s comments during the committee meeting, and said that while the party didn’t need “to get hung up on him,” it also shouldn’t mirror his views. Curtiss is also refreshingly realistic on sex education. “I’m from Alabama — we have abstinence-only education. We also have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country. While I support abstinence and I think it’s something to teach our kids, I also am realistic and understand a majority of our kids are not waiting until marriage to have sex,” she said.
Though Curtiss is young, she has already made a splash in her party. She is the National Committeewoman for the Young Republican Federation of Alabama and a member of the finance committee for the Young Republican National Federation. She’s also a pro at raising money. According to the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans, she has raised more than $25,000 for the YRFA, and in 2009, she registered more voters than any other member of her local YR chapter.
Curtiss told Buzzfeed she didn’t want social issues to be the main focus of the platform, and hopes the party will address young people’s concerns in the next election. “I’m for limited government and hopefully we can move forward on some of these issues that I think my generation, we don’t want to get stuck in — how we teach sex education, we don’t want to get caught up in people’s bodies. We are pro-life, and we don’t want to compromise our principles; we do want to be more realistic as a party.”
So: strongly held ideas, fundraising chops, and media buzz? Expect Curtiss’ name on a ballot soon.
Photo: Courtesy of Greater Birmingham Young Republicans