Submission: In Response to “Lukewarm Stances and Lazy Politicians”

This piece was submitted by MaryAnne Pintar, Chief of Staff for Rep. Scott Peters.

Congressman Scott Peters has a long and proud record of being a forceful, pro-choice advocate. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has given him a 100% rating for his perfect pro-choice voting record, and he recently voted in the House of Representatives to codify Roe v. Wade so right-wing Supreme Courts can’t take this long held privacy right away from women. Additionally, he and his wife have a long record of supporting Planned Parenthood. In fact, his wife served on the Board of Directors of the local chapter and personally escorted women seeking safe abortions from health care clinics in the 1990s.

Peters has strongly and unequivocally supported the rights of women to make their own reproductive health care decisions, always, under any circumstance. An opinion column written for The Guardian that posted online yesterday suggested that Rep. Scott Peters only supported abortion rights in extreme or exceptional cases, calling his position “tepid” and “lukewarm” and “the bare minimum.” The writer of the column asserts this conclusion by taking one sentence from a 5-minute speech Peters delivered at a May 3 pro-choice rally organized in response to the leaked SCOTUS decision.

In his remarks at the rally, Rep. Peters stated that “efforts that states might make to ban abortion after rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake is nothing short of barbaric.” The writer of the column chose to focus solely on this one to accuse the Congressman of not going far enough in his advocacy of abortion rights. By taking this sentence out of context, the writer implies that Peters only supports abortion rights in certain circumstances. That is false and his record proves that untrue.

Here’s what else Peters said that evening:

“Republicans don’t only want to ban abortions. They want to criminalize abortion in a way that cruelly punishes women who seek them. They want to throw women in in jail, arrest doctors, encourage bounties. They want neighbors to report neighbors to law enforcement like something out of some horrific sci fi movie.  Republicans want to ban abortions before most women even know they’re pregnant. That’s not limiting abortion. That’s forced pregnancy. And the same people who want to force families to have babies they don’t feel equipped to care for want to cut off food assistance to the poor.

That’s not pro-life – it’s anti-family.  And by the way it’s anti freedom….

As saddened and enraged as I am about this pending decision, I’m frankly not surprised. We knew the very day that Donald Trump was elected president, that this day was coming.

Now the only way to undue this tragic harm is to win elections. We need to win in Texas and Wisconsin, and Michigan and Ohio. We need to win federal elections because we don’t want Mitch McConnell to have veto power over our Supreme Court picks, and we need to win statewide elections to defeat the people who write and vote for these abominable laws.  And we Democrats need to quit fighting among ourselves. We must be united. There’s too much at stake.

Not just abortion rights. As drafted, Justice Alito’s argument lays out a perilous outline for future assaults on cherished rights that have long been rooted in the constitutional right to privacy.

The House of Representatives has passed the codification of Roe v. Wade and now we must put all the pressure we can muster on the Senate to enshrine into law women’s reproductive freedoms.

If this Court does indeed terminate Roe, Democrats will not relent. I will not relent.

I’m proud to have a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and I thank them for their vigilance. My family and I have been long time supporters and donors to Planned Parenthood and I urge ever single one of you do to whatever you can to support them, too. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is their political arm, and I will be watching them for ideas about where to engage this fight.

Thank you for being here tonight. Don’t lose faith. Don’t give up the fight. Please know that I’m with you every step of the way.”

Are these the words of someone taking a tepid stance?  You be the judge.

2 thoughts on “Submission: In Response to “Lukewarm Stances and Lazy Politicians”

  1. There are not just theories on paper but rather real challenges faced by many people around us every day. It’s time for our representatives to stand up once again as leaders, not simply be pandered as another vote in their own interest.

  2. Lynching was Southern Heritage!!!

    By John Burl Smith author of “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop!”

    Two days ago, a courageous young black candidate running for the US Senate in Kentucky, Charles Booker produced a video with a noose around his neck. His statement calls the current Sen. Rand Paul out regarding his refusal to support any ban on assault weapons and many of his votes have reflected his support for the NRA and America’s racist past. Yes, I said it out loud! Yes, America past I steeped in racism, and Kentucky, like Texas and the rest of the South, is like a wellspring for the United States of America. I made this point in my, “Everybody is talking about the Wrong Thing!” post week and cover the topic extensively in “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop!” Anyone who doubts my assessment, if they are advised to read my book, need only read Ralph Ginsburg’s book “One Hundred Years of Lynching,” or James Allen’s pictorial expose’s “Without Sanctuary”!

    Booker’s video presentation was a poignant wake up to Kentucky voters and the rest of America to the fact that mass murders with guns today are no different than lynching in the late 1800 to 1950. When Woodrow Wilson was elected president in 1912, he used lynching to make “white supremacy” the goal of the federal government. Again, like today and mass gun violence, when Wilson came into office, lynchings occurred in forest and dark swamps in the dead of night. No one could foresee that in the 1920s and 30s lynching would become a “spectator sport,” attended by 10 to 15,000 white men, women and children. These skeptical lynchings became a part of American culture, on the way to becoming an American “cottage industry” that produced post cards that sold into the millions. White families that attended lynchings created family photo albums, which contained pieces of chard body parts and fabric collected from lynched victims.

    I believed Booker saw this same potential in what is happening in America today with mass shooting and defending gun ownership by Republicans. Synonymous to killing Black people, “which not against the law,” like the millions of assault weapons, lynching grew in popularity, until murdering Black people was one big party for white people. It is difficult today to think of white people as that depraved, so the only way one can come to see the danger of overturning Roe v. Wade for women is to find a counterpart in American history. However, the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization in Montgomery, AL has researched this topic extensively and established that nearly 5,000 lynching took place in the former confederate states alone between 1900 and 1950. More importantly, during the period of “the Red Summer of 1919,” thousands of Black communities were “sacked and burned” and inhabitants murdered in places like “Black Wall Street,” in Talus, OK, the Southside of Chicago, IL, East St. Louis, IL, even Washington, DC, while Pres. Woodrow Wilson watched the movie “Birth of A Nation.”

    The amazing thing about lynchings—extrajudicial murders—they were cited by so-called white Christians as the only way to protect white women from Black men, while in truth, lynching was about holding on to political power. The spark that set everything in motion was the Supreme Court’s ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. Today it seems Booker saw the US back there again and back then a Supreme Court was the first step in establishing “white supremacy.” I think Booker’s video presentation was calculated to be, a not so subtle, indication of what could follow, if Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Roe v. Wade becomes the law of the land, since Alito cited “burning witches,” as something justified. Again, Booker video intimated or at least suggested, what can happen when the rights of a minority become the target of a majority. My point is that in an enlightened society, like America, lynching was only outlaw in 2022, but still is not a crime.

    Republicans are up in arms, calling for Booker’s “scalp” because he had the temerity to make a connection to lynching, but it is Republicans who have always used race to gain and hold on to political power. Their current political dominance is due to Ronald Reagan’s “southern strategy,” “barefaced racism,” which Republicans were wedded to until Donald Trump. Today Republicans are proud to march under Trump’s racist flag, like white men were rabid for lynching, during what I call the “Dark Age angry white men mob madness” era 1900s to 1950. I wish I was a registered voter in Kentucky, Booker would be my man, but we have a similar fight for Stacey Abrams against another “diehard southern heritage supporter,” like Rand Paul!!!

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