Contest For Candidates Who Agree That Forced Birth Is UnAmerican
Immediately after the Roe v Wade decision was announced on Friday, Data for Progress released the poll below and Mike Pence-- who has been treated as something of a media darling for not participating in the Trump coup-- crowed that Roe v Wade has been "consigned to the ash heap of history... [W]e must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in EVERY STATE IN THE LAND." There were similar messages from GOP elected officials, making it clear that they will never let up until abortion is criminalized in every state, regardless of what the voters want.
As of today, abortions are illegal in South Dakota, Louisiana and Kentucky. It should be official and complete in Texas. Mississippi and Oklahoma in a matter of days. States with trigger bans that should go into effect almost immediately include Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, followed by Wisconsin, Alabama and West Virginia. Republicans in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina are on the case.
Some of the Blue America-endorsed candidates shared their thoughts with us about this. I wish we could send every one of them a check to help their campaigns. Instead, though, I do want to send two of them $1,000 Blue America checks. You tell us which ones. Just contribute any amount to any of their campaigns and the two winners each get a check. One check will go to the candidate who gets the most contributions (one contribution per e-mail address) and the other candidate who gets the check will be the one who brings in the most money— so one is for lots of people and the other is for lots of cash. In theory, one candidate could win both checks, but that’s never happened before.
Oh, and don’t base it on how much you like them. Base your “vote” on their statement about the SCOTUS decision. Vote by clicking here or by clicking on the contest thermometer on the left. I’m going to list the responses based on when they came in. First in was Neal Walia, who is running in Denver.
Neal Walia (D-CO): “The time for virtue signals is over. Our rights are literally being taken from us. Roe V Wade falling is catastrophic. We can abolish the filibuster. We can expand the Supreme Court. We can stop taking money from corporations who actively fund anti-choice votes. We can ACT.”
Alan Grayson (D-FL): “The right to control one’s own body is the most fundamental right of all. No woman should ever be forced to carry and bear a child. To anyone who feels otherwise, I would ask, ‘what if you were raped and pregnant? Think about that.’ People should never interfere in someone else’s decision about whether to have a child. On the contrary, this invokes a bedrock principle of government and civilization: ‘Mind Your Own Business.’ The President should add abortion to the list of care that health insurers are required to provide (like preexisting conditions), and he should do it now.”
Mark Neumann (D-WI): “My great granny died of lockjaw, otherwise known as tetanus. She left three children without a mother in the care of a father who reportedly could not hold a job and was probably a mean drunk. After her death instruments were found in her bedroom that would have been used to induce an abortion. My great granny did not have quality reproductive healthcare available 100 years ago. I believe she tried her very best to find the way to raise her three kids and feed them. Who can dare to judge her choices? I wish I could have met her. I wish she could have had our current safe and competent abortion care that was unavailable to her in 1907. Reproductive healthcare decisions are the most consequential decisions any of us make in our lives. Who can possibly judge another person's freedom to make those choices for their family? The power of the state commits sexual abuse when it violates a person's body sovereignty and autonomy for reproductive choice. We as a community have a duty to make full scope, quality healthcare available to all women and trans people with pregnancy. Medicare for All!”
Lucas Kunce (D-MO): “As of this moment, abortion is no longer legal in the state of Missouri, even in cases of rape or incest. For nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land. And now, the Supreme Court has taken away the right to choose. This is a Big Brother attack on all of us, and we have to fight back. Congress must immediately end the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade. If they won't, then we must replace them. We all know who this decision will fall hardest on— working people and struggling families who are losing control over their own bodies and their economic opportunities. We cannot let this stand. We need to take our power back. When I am in the Senate, I will fight like hell to guarantee access to abortion for every Missourian.”
Tom Nelson (D-WI): "The decision is a dark day for this country, more so for Wisconsin. We are one of a handful of states that will make abortion a crime, the penalty of which is up to three years in jail for doctors. Republicans refuse to change the law. With guaranteed majorities for the next decade there will be no justice for women. The only relief will be through the Congress. The only way we get a working majority in the U.S. Senate is to win Wisconsin. And I am the candidate."
Hank Linderman (D-KY): “And just like that, the historic precedent of Roe vs Wade was overturned. None of us should be surprised; opponents of women's rights have been working towards this moment for 50 years. Credit where credit is due: a minority was able to overturn a Supreme Court decision through persistence, dedication, and unwillingness to compromise. And let's also understand— there were steps that we Democrats could have taken to prevent this day, but those opportunities are gone, so let's not waste any time on "woulda coulda shoulda." Today and tomorrow are all we have, they are the only place we will find solutions. First, understand that we will win. It is just a matter of time. Next, get involved, to a level you haven't been before. Get ready to vote, help others get ready to vote, talk with friends and neighbors, encourage them to join you at local county party meetings, help pro-choice candidates get elected. The easiest way to help is to contribute money or time to their efforts. The past is gone, but the future is unwritten. It only takes the courage of a determined few— including you— to make a big difference. Join us please.”
Brittany Ramos DeBarros (D-NY): “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a clear call to elect fighters who will protect our rights at all costs. Republicans have been clear on what they wanted and have worked systematically to get it. Democrats could and should have protected abortion and other rights legally, but they never bothered. This decision shows we can’t afford people in office who talk out of both sides of their mouths. We need leaders who understand and act on the urgency of what’s at stake. This decision is a barbaric attack on privacy, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights. It attacks our access to healthcare. It literally puts our lives at risk from loss of prenatal care, and doctors’ fear of treating miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, loss of fetal viability, and other serious medical conditions. It attacks our ability to fully participate in work and society. While this decision is an attack on all of us, it will harm poor and working class communities of color the most. We must make New York a haven for anyone around the country seeking abortions. And fight to preserve our rights here, even as we work to expand them in the rest of the U.S."
Jason Call (D-WA): "The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a victory of a radical right-wing minority which has hijacked this institution. This is an emergency, and it demands an emergency response that includes abolishing the filibuster, expanding the Supreme Court, and federally codifying the right to an abortion. Sadly, Washington’s Second Congressional District is currently represented by someone who opposes two of those three actions. Corporate-backed moderate Democratic Representative Rick Larsen does not support abolishing the filibuster and last year said Democrats should wait and 'eventually we’ll come around and get our turn' to appoint new judges to the Supreme Court. The fight against a rogue Supreme Court doesn’t stop at abortion rights. There have been disturbing roll backs of civil liberties, the separation of church and state, gun safety laws, and labor rights that underscore the urgent need to confront this ascendent tyrannical legal regime, many of whom brought us the disastrous Citizens United decision. Northwest Washington’s current representation is not up to this task, and still believes there is room to acquiesce to Republicans whose next step will assuredly be overturning marriage equality. This is not a political football or a fundraising opportunity. This is people’s lives."
Melanie D'Arrigo (D-NY): "Today a corrupt SCOTUS sent a resounding message: extreme right wing ideology comes before decades of judicial precedent. Their decision to overturn Roe will directly result in states forcing birth upon residents without paid family leave, without proper healthcare and without universal childcare. With this decision, the United States has exposed a compromised court and has crossed the threshold into fascism. I have no doubt that women and birthing people will do what it takes to claw back power and restore abortion rights. But we will only be able to do that by electing leaders with the courage to fight the long battle ahead."
Steven Holden (D-NY): "Earlier today I was at a rally in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the Women’s Suffrage movement and a key community in our district, and I started to wonder who damped the progressive fire in Congress? We’ve known for weeks that Alito and his conservative henchmen were going to overturn Roe. The fight to make Roe v Wade the law of the land is being lost. That is a failure, no two ways about it. A failure that we cannot bear repeating. When I get to Congress, I will, without a doubt, stoke the flames of progress, never back down, and never ever shut up. Republicans are not a reasonable or competent choice for Government at any level and the time is long past to stop electing moderates to appease the mythical swing voter."
I want to leave you with some thoughts from a member of Congress we backed when she first ran, AOC. She’s not part of the contest— challengers only— but she was very inspiring in her note to her supporters. Someone asked her if we’re “screwed.” She responded like this: “My honest view is that things are likely going to get harder before they get better, and we will need to stick together. What is important in moments like these is not to think in binaries. Good/bad, screwed/not screwed. There is no doubt that things are bad. Some things, really bad. And they may likely get worse. But that does not preclude the fact that slowly but surely, some good can be growing as other things fall apart. This is not some syrupy sweet silver lining case for optimism. Rather, it is really about a choice all of us will have to make in life, either consciously or unconsciously: will I be a person who is safe and creates good for others? Will I be a person who stands up? Will I be a person who primarily minds my business and serves myself or try to be part of something bigger? Or will I just be a passive, ‘neutral’ observer of it all? … There is no neutral choice, so we can at least do our best to make good ones and learn and do better the next day. You are allowed to be scared. To grieve. To be angry. But you are also allowed to create good, to be soft, and enjoy the small reprieves. Struggle lasts as long as we do.”
One more missive from an incumbent. I think that of the dozens— literally, dozens— of emails I got from members of Congress yesterday, the only one that didn’t come with an ask for contributions was from Ted Lieu. Instead, he sent this to his constituents:
I am deeply distraught by today’s Supreme Court decision on abortion. It is, unfortunately, exactly as we feared. The Republicans’ decades-long war waged in support of forced birth has culminated in this appalling decision. Roe v. Wade was settled law according to the confirmation testimonies of the Justices who just voted to overturn it. These Justices lied to the Senate and the American people to be confirmed. It should come as no surprise that public confidence in the Supreme Court is at its lowest. Conservative justices, who have often decried legislating from the bench, will now impose their radical views on abortion onto the rest of the country.
Ultimately, this is a personal liberties issue. Some religions support abortion, and some religions oppose abortion. Abortion is a complicated and personal decision. That is exactly why it is wrong for the government to unilaterally make a decision that should rest with the woman, her doctor, her God and her family. The criminalization of abortion, which is what Republicans want, is an attack on bodily autonomy and an attack on an individual’s right not to be pregnant.
Let’s hope voters remember when they go to the polls in November because that same Data for Progress poll shows that 55% of voters say they would prefer to cast a ballot for someone who supports keeping Roe v Wade in place. Only 31% said they would prefer to vote for a candidate who backs overturning Roe, the majority of them Republicans.
This "contest" lasts until Wednesday night (9pm-- in your time zone) Please vote for the candidate who you think did the best job on a statement about the travesty the illegitimate Supreme Court slammed us with on Friday. The easiest way to do it is to click here and just give directly to the candidate you want to see win the $1,000 check.
UPDATE: A Letter To The Supreme Court From Christine Olivo (FL)
In this process of life there are givers and there are bearers. Those that give do so in a moment of satisfaction and relief. They walk away, they put on their pants and that is the extent of their contribution to this process. Those that bear must completely change and sometimes risk their lives to bring a new life into this world. With my first pregnancy I went into pre-term labor twice, once at 24 weeks and once at 28 weeks. It was the most horrific experience I have ever felt in my life. During both pregnancies I lost employment. During my second pregnancy I lost my health insurance. Both of my children stayed home with me for the first two years because we could not afford daycare. I actually miscarried a year ago and I am still being billed for losing my child. Thank God that I have a strong support system. My husband and I chose to have children as an expression of our love and a continuation of our lineage. That is not the case for everyone. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not a fun, easy or light decision. It is a traumatic and haunting decision. I know this because I’ve held the hands of women that have had to make that choice. Women are being raped. Women have no access to contraception. Women are not being taught about how their bodies work. You want to stop abortion, I want to prevent it too. But forcing a woman to give life when she does not want to is not the way to do it. No man, no religion and no government should have any jurisdiction over a woman’s body. It’s none of your business. The maternal mortality rate will increase. Post partum depression will increase. Welfare enrollment will increase. The best course of action that our government should have taken would be to provide women with the tools, the resources and the protection necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Our focus as a country should be on compassion not control. If this government insists on forcing itself into a woman’s body, then you are no better than a rapist.
The woman who is going expand the court and make you irrelevant.