A voice for GOP feminists in California
A group of southern California Republican women, disappointed by their party's stance on issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion, have formed a political action group that they hope will become a feminist force in the GOP.
Calling their nonprofit corporation Aurora (the Roman goddess of dawn), its founders say they hope it will provide a new political base in California for those who have felt alienated from both the Republican Party and the more established groups in the women's movement. They are interested, says Aurora's vice-president, Callie J. Heinbaugh of Claremont, Calif., in ''furthering equal participation between women and men in the political, social, and economic processes.''
Mrs. Heinbaugh says the idea behind the new group began when the 1980 Republican Convention took planks supporting the ERA and ''reproductive choice'' out of the party platform. When the ERA expired last August without being ratified, she and a few other Republican women in the Los Angeles area began work toward forming Aurora. It was incorporated in December.
The California Republican convention Jan. 29-30 in Sacramento provided the opportunity to test response to the new organization and its aims. According to Mrs. Heinbaugh, ''we had tremendous reception - mainly from the more moderate section and the young.'' Seventy-five women who attended an Aurora reception at the convention hotel were interested enough to register their names and addresses, and many membership forms were given out, she said.
Barbara Kee, the president of Aurora, is a member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee. She makes it clear that the organization does not seek to be a part of the Republican Party or to play the same role as feminist groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW).