NEW YORK, Nov 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When late-night election returns showed Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidency last November, Laura Moser vomited and Christine Lui Chen crawled into bed to cling to her young daughter.
Then they got down to business and joined the thousands of women who have responded to the Trump presidency by running for political office.
More than 20,000 women in the United States with an interest in running for office have contacted Emily’s List, an advocacy group supporting female candidates, since the November election.
The number is unprecedented. In the two years before the 2016 election day, 920 women - also a record - contacted the group, a spokeswoman said.
“We have never seen anything like this before in our 32-year history,” said Alexandra De Luca, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List, which supports women candidates in the Democratic Party who back abortion rights.
During the presidential campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump was criticized for insulting women and for remarks, captured on video, bragging about groping them.
His administration has proposed or undertaken measures that many see as harmful to women’s rights, such as reducing access to abortion and birth control, health insurance and childcare.
Millions of women protested in demonstrations around the world the day after Trump was sworn into office in January.
That’s when Chen says she decided to run for office.
“I made the choice literally 13 hours after coming home from the (Washington) D.C. women’s’ march,” Chen said in a new documentary that follows her bid for New Jersey state Senate.
The campaigns of Chen, Moser and three other women are chronicled in “She’s the Ticket,” an online documentary series premiering this week about women who decided to run for office after Trump’s election.
Its executive producer Mary Robertson compares the women to so-called blizzard babies born nine months after a snowstorm.
“In some ways perhaps these women are an equivalent for politics, and that we’re really looking at - the first wave of candidates and campaigns that were galvanized by Trump’s election,” Robertson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It does seem as though there has been a historic response.”
Women hold a quarter of state-level legislative seats in the United States, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
They also make up one-fifth of the mayors of the large cities and of the U.S. Congress, it said.
Moser, who says she threw up as the election returns came in, is running for Congress in Houston, Texas.
Her previous claim to fame is arguably a photo that went viral of her 2-year-old daughter throwing a tantrum on the Oval Office floor in front of former President Barack Obama in 2015. Moser’s husband was a member of Obama’s White House staff.
“Whatever happens, I’m very proud to be one of these women who is stepping up to answer the call of duty from an America in crisis,” said Moser, a journalist and writer.
Stacey Abrams, who hopes to become the nation’s first black female governor by winning the state of Georgia, also describes the election as a turning point.
“There was a pit in my stomach,” said Abrams, an attorney who has served in the state legislature.
“I went into a deep depression for about 24 hours, and then I got back to work.”
“She’s the Ticket” debuts this week on Topic.com, a visual story-telling website. It is part of First Look Media, launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
The documentary also showcases Crystal Murillo, candidate for city council in Aurora, Colorado, and Jennifer Carroll Foy, running for the House of Delegates in the state of Virginia. (Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)