The words "conservative" and "Hollywood" aren't usually compatible, but don't tell that to Patricia Heaton. Heaton is one of the few conservative A-list actresses who speaks openly about her politics, religious beliefs, and values. During the 2008 Presidential election, she attended fundraisers for Senator John McCain, supported Governor Sarah Palin, and has volunteered for President George W. Bush. She says she was raised as a Democrat but decided to switch parties when she felt there wasn't a place for "pro-life" members in the Democratic party.
Much of Heaton's activism centers around pro-life issues. She is the Honorary Chair of "Feminists For Life," which is an organization that opposes abortion and embryonic stem cell research from a feminist perspective. She spoke about the organization on an appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor,"
"The early feminists were pro-life. And really, abortion is a huge disservice to women, and it hasn't been presented that way. As Feminists for Life-what we're trying to do is support women, and so what we want to do is-reach women on campus-college campuses so that, when they get pregnant, they can find housing. They can find money they need to stay in school."
In 2005, during the media coverage of Terri Schiavo's last days, in an exclusive interview, Heaton told "Entertainment Tonight" that she was against taking Schiavo's feeding tube away and vowed to fast in her honor. In 2006, Heaton starred in a commercial along with several other celebrities opposing Missouri's proposed constitutional amendment regarding embryonic stem cell research. In a 2004 interview with Life News, Heaton was asked about her stance on abortion,
"I find it impossible to subscribe to a philosophy that believes that the destruction of human life is a legitimate solution to a problem that is mostly social, economic and psychological. In reality, most women 'choose' abortion because they believe they have no other choice."
Patricia Heaton is best known for her role as "Debra Barone" on the show "Everybody Loves Raymond," a role for which she won two Emmys. She was born in Bay Village, Ohio and attended Ohio State University. Heaton has been married to British actor David Hunt for almost twenty years. They have four sons, Sam, John, Joseph, and Daniel.