Mary Crisp, Republican feminist, dies

April 17, 2007 at 8:07 PM
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PHOENIX, April 17 (UPI) -- Mary Crisp, who lost her position as co-chair of the Republican Party because of her support of the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at her home in Arizona.

She was 83 when she died March 24, The New York Times reported.

At the Republican Convention in 1980 in Detroit, Crisp asked the party to continue its support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which needed the endorsement of a few state legislatures to become part of the Constitution. She also asked delegates to drop a platform plank calling for an amendment to ban abortion.

"We are about to bury the rights of over 100 million American women under a heap of platitudes," she said.

Ronald Reagan, who became the party candidate for president, publicly rebuked Crisp, questioning her loyalty to the party.

Crisp, who had already agreed not to run for re-election as a national co-chair, eventually became campaign manager for John Anderson, a Republican congressman who ran for president as an independent in 1980. She later directed the political action committee of the National Abortion Rights Action League and helped found the National Republican Coalition for Choice.

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