Two female Republican senators have been added to the Senate Judiciary Committee, helping resolving a point of criticism for the committee over its lack of diversity, according to Politico.
Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will join the high-profile committee when the new Congress is officially seated this week.
"Everyone knows Republicans need women on Judiciary," said Susan B. Anthony List vice president Marilyn Musgrave."It will take away the critics asking, 'Where are the women?'"
Why does this matter?
When the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, some criticized the appearance of the all-male group of Republicans handling that hearing.
An outside prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, handled the questioning of Ford during the hearing.
"Having a woman Republican senator would have really helped with the Kavanaugh hearing and some of the pushback we saw," said Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins told Politico. "It was really unfortunate that the hearing fell right into the narrative the other side was trying to paint, that pro-lifers are all men and are anti-woman, which is just not true."
Blackburn and Ernst are both vocally pro-life lawmakers, and their involvement in the committee that oversees judicial appointments could serve to strengthen Republican efforts to influence abortion policy through the courts.
The appointment of women to the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn't satisfy everyone, however. Pro-abortion advocates won't view the inclusion of women with opposing views on the issue as positive.
"Just because a woman serves in a particular role doesn't mean that person exemplifies values that are going to be best for women and families in this country," Adrienne Kimmell, vice president of communications and strategic research for the abortion rights group NARAL, said to Politico.