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.