Harriett Woods wrote a book in 2000 about the rise of women in politics.  In it, she emphasized the different perspectives women bring to public policy debate.   She said women were more likely to give first priority to Head Start, or protection of the elderly – a major focus of her work as a State Senator.  Woods led the state’s last major re-write of Missouri nursing home laws in the 70s while a State Senator.  She said women’s life experiences should be part of the public debate.

Woods was pro-choice and said the abortion issue could not be solved through politics and government.  She said it had to be resolved by people themselves, in society, either by persuading each other or by following their own consciences and making decisions that affect their own lives.

She says the disagreement is one of the great privileges Americans have – people disagreeing about who makes decisions affecting private lives and understanding others don’t have to agree with their viewpoint or agreeing that what is done is right. 

Personally, she said, government should not pass laws that affected her personal, private decisions.

Download/Listen: Harriet Woods on C-SPAN, March 8, 2000, on her book (1:30 MP3)