President Donald Trump on Tuesday officially pardoned Susan B. Anthony, the famed women’s suffrage leader arrested in 1872 for attempting to vote, which was, at the time, an illegal act for a female and carried with it a $100 fine.
“She was never pardoned,” said the president. “Did you know that? She was never pardoned. What took so long?”
Anthony was tried and ultimately found guilty by an all-male jury for daring to cast a vote in the 1872 presidential election between incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant and Liberal Republican Horace Greeley.
Trump’s decision to pardon the iconic suffragist comes on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which was ratified in August 1920 and guaranteed no citizen would be barred from voting based on the account of sex.
“She was guilty for voting,” Trump said from the White House, “and we’re going to be signing a full and complete pardon.”
During every presidential election, nearby voters travel to Anthony’s gravesite in Rochester, New York, to place their “I voted” stickers on her tombstone.
Anthony’s name has become increasingly controversial in recent years, as pro-lifers have adopted her as a symbol of the anti-abortion movement.
While there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to her as being staunchly opposed to abortion, she did write a few journal entries that seem to suggest she was against the practice. Additionally, Anthony declined advertisements for “quack medicines” — including abortifacients — in her short-lived feminist newspaper, “Revolution.”
She also stated during an 1875 speech: “When the office of maternity shall be held sacred … then, and not till then, will this earth see a new order of men and women, prone to good rather evil.”
Anthony also surrounded herself with others who spoke out harshly against abortion.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy organization, was present for Trump’s announcement Tuesday morning.
“Walking out of the White House on cloud nine,” tweeted Dannenfelser, “because Susan B. Anthony has just been pardoned for voting illegally. At the time, she said, ‘I will pay not one penny for this unjust fine.’”