Earlier yesterday, I held a press conference blasting Rep. Nan Hayworth for supporting the Republican Party's "war on women," hiding from the press when right wing leaders used hateful and sexist language, and abandoning her oaths as a doctor to care for all of the sick - including pregnant women suffering serious medical complications.
I was honored that several dozen supporters joined me outside her district office in Somers to spread this message. This incredible turnout - both today and at our first "Women for Becker" event on Sunday - is a clear sign that the people of this district are fired up to elect a new Representative who’ll actually be there for us.
This was not a simple press conference - This is a rallying cry! Comments like Rush Limbaugh's are just the latest in the Republican War on Women. Back when Nan was running in 2010, she went around and told all of us in Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess that she was pro-choice because she knew that she couldn’t win in this district any other way.
But a funny thing happened on Hayworth’s way to Washington. All of a sudden, it was 'I’m pro-choice, unless...' That’s just absolutely bogus: either you’re pro-choice, or you’re not. Time and again, Nan Hayworth keeps making it clear that she’s not pro-choice, not when it counts. That's why Planned Parenthood gave her a mere 17 points out of 100 on its pro-choice rating scale. We deserve better in a Representative. We deserve someone who will stand up for us when we need them to.
Hayworth's support for HR 358, the “Let Women Die Act," was also inexcusable. That vote would have let doctor’s deny women life saving reproductive care if the doctor personally didn’t want to provide it. I’m a doctor, too. We swore an oath to 'first, do no harm,' which is why I would never turn away a patient who was seriously ill, and why I get so incensed when I hear that Nan supported a bill which would have let doctors do just that. Rather than do the right thing on an issue of life and death, Hayworth pandered to the extreme right, and that’s absolutely disgraceful.
We need to elect a new Congressperson who will stand up for women and lead on important issues, not one who "could not be reached for comment" when reporters asked her about Rush Limbaugh's hateful comments. Enough with “no comment Nan.” Enough with the hypocrisy. Enough with fighting for the few at the expense of the rest of us. We deserve a congressperson who will fight for us in Washington - who will stand up against the special interests and lobbyists, and against out-of-control right wing leaders like Rush Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner. Our Congressperson needs to be a leader and a problem solver, and that's the kind of Representative I'll be.
One final note: It was great that local college student Jordan Beberman also spoke up on the stakes for her generation at this press conference. Beberman comments rang so true: “I want to live in a society that respects all women’s rights to make fundamental decisions about their own lives. I want to know that my real concerns are taken seriously by my government and my Representative. Nan’s votes and comments say loud and clear that she does not share that belief.”
Thank you for your eloquent words, Jordan, and thank you to everyone else who stood with me today!