PA-13 Democratic candidate Val Arkoosh focused on her primary opponent State Rep. Brendan Boyle in a direct mail ad campaign highlighting his vote that helped to close women’s health clinics in Pennsylvania.
The piece portrays Boyle as out-of-touch with women who require reproductive health services, mammograms and preventive care.
Information on the mailer provides some background information for voters. It states that in 2011, Boyle voted to pass new abortion-clinic rules that would create harsh restrictions on the clinics. The legislation was proposed following the release of the grand jury report from Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s trial, where Gosnell was found guilty of murdering babies born alive in his abortion clinic.
The laws are known as TRAP laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, among pro-choicers. Pennsylvania is one of 45 states that currently have TRAP laws, some common ones including limiting the provision of care solely to doctors, limiting abortion care to hospitals, and requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. While the stated intention of these laws is that they are meant to make abortion safer for women, many pro-choice advocates claim they just make it more difficult.*
Arkoosh is among these advocates, saying in the mailer that not only has Boyle’s vote for the TRAP law, officially known as Act 122, limited “women’s access to a safe and legal abortion,” but as of January 2014 at least four clinics have closed as a direct result of it. According to RH Reality Check, three of them closed voluntarily and the fourth was unable to afford the renovations required by Act 122.
Arkoosh’s mailer wraps everything up with a short blurb from the executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates: “When women lose access to the high-quality providers through unnecessary overregulation, we will know who to blame.”
“Val Arkoosh, who has never held elected office before, has been sending direct mail attacking other candidates in the race for weeks. She has received donations from many right wing doctors’ groups who lobbied against Obamacare and also donated to anti-choice Tea Party candidates,” said Boyle’s campaign manager Adam Erickson in response to the mailer.
“Rather than explain his vote to reduce access to women’s health services across Pennsylvania, State. Representative Boyle’s campaign has resorted to making wild and unfounded accusations in the final weeks of the election,” Arkoosh Jacob Dusseau, Arkoosh campaign manager told PoliticsPA. “Val is proud of her record of working to expand access to high-quality women’s health services though her leadership on the Affordable Care Act and her decades of service in Philadelphia’s hospitals.”
Along with Arkoosh and Boyle, other Democratic candidates in PA-13 include State Sen. Daylin Leach and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.
*Post has been updated