The decision to become pregnant and raise a child with her female partner was not political, Mary Cheney, a daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, told a Barnard College audience.

"This is a baby," Cheney said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by Glamour magazine. "This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child."

Cheney, 37, announced in December that she and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, were starting a family. She did not say how the child was conceived. The baby is due in the spring and will be the vice president's sixth grandchild.

Dick Cheney became testy last week when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked him what he thought of conservatives who are critical of his daughter's pregnancy. Cheney told Blitzer he was "over the line."

In a brief interview with The New York Times after Wednesday's panel, Mary Cheney said she agreed that Blitzer had crossed a line. "He was trying to get a rise out of my father," she said.

Glamour editor Cindi Leive asked Cheney during the panel discussion if she had anything to say to conservatives such as James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, who have criticized her pregnancy, asserting that children should be raised by heterosexual married couples.

She responded, "Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years on this issue has shown there is no difference between children who are raised by same-sex parents and children who are raised by opposite-sex parents. What matters is that children are being raised in a stable, loving environment."

Cheney was an aide to her father during the 2004 campaign and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL.

She is the author of "Now It's My Turn: a Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life," published last year.