DGA Campaigning on Corbett Ultrasound Comments
Update: Corbett’s comments made the rounds on the liberal blogosphere, including the home page of the Huffington Post (right).
Governor Tom Corbett kicked a bees nest with recent comments about a proposal to mandate ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Pa. The Democratic Governors Association is hoping to channel the backlash.
The DGA emailed supporters Thursday morning on the issue, referring to Corbett’s comments Tuesday in support of the measure. Corbett said then:
“I don’t know how you can make anybody watch, because you just have to close your eyes,” said Corbett. “But as long as it’s on the exterior, not interior.”
“‘Close your eyes?’ Does Governor Corbett have no shame?” asked DGA Communications Director Kate Hansen in an email to supporters.
Sponsors of the bill, entitled the Women’s Right to Know Act, say it is necessary in order for women to be informed of their full range of options.
It’s also a major policy goal of the GOP base. Pro-life activists have long supported such a measure, hoping that that ultrasound images would deter women considering abortions from going through with them.
Critics have argued that the bill is an effort to shame women seeking abortions. Much of the medical community is also opposed to the proposal, saying that it is inappropriate for the government to mandate any medical procedure.
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that Pennsylvanians oppose the measure 48 to 42 percent, though women are split with 45 approving and 45 opposed.
The bill has worked its way through Harrisburg, but stalled recently. 32 of its co-sponsors have removed their names from the legislation, and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai has delayed its vote indefinitely.
A number of Democratic candidates and organizations, including the state party and Attorney General hopeful Patrick Murphy, have emailed supporters to criticize Corbett’s comments.
Here’s the relevant section of the DGA’s email:
If you’re a woman who opposes mandatory ultrasounds, Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has a suggestion for you: “You just have to close your eyes.”
“Close your eyes?” Does Governor Corbett have no shame?
Instead of focusing on jobs, Republican governors are focusing on passing new restrictions on women’s personal health care choices. We have to stop this attack on women’s rights now, before it spreads to any other states.
Add your name to our petition calling on Governor Corbett to immediately apologize for his insensitive comments and retract his support for this terrible bill that would roll back access to women’s health care.