NARAL Calls On Moderators of CO-06 Debate to Include Questions About Abortion
For Immediate Release: October 22, 2018
Denver – In the lead up to the Colorado 6th Congressional District debate this Tuesday, NARAL Pro-Choice America is calling on the moderators to ask the candidates about their views on reproductive health care and abortion. NARAL sent a letter to the two moderators requesting they ask questions that lead to a discussion about the difference between Jason Crow’s and Mike Coffman’s stances on reproductive freedom.
“Abortion is not a “niche” issue. Asking about abortion means demanding that the candidates tell us what they think about gender equality and a woman’s right to determine what happens to her own body. It means moving a complex discussion past the simple “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels so they can talk about their ideas for supporting women and families. It means determining whether a candidate thinks a woman deserves full access to the values of freedom, equality, and opportunity that Coloradans believe in.”
– Nicole Brener-Schmitz in her letter to the moderators of Tuesday’s debate
See the full letter below:
Kyle Clark and Marshall Zelinger
500 E Speer Blvd
Denver, CO 80203-4187
Dear Mr. Clark and Mr. Zelinger,
Debates are a critical opportunity to hold candidates accountable on issues that directly impact the lives of all Coloradans in Congressional District 6. Few issues are as important to the well-being of citizens across the state than the ability to decide if, when, and how to start a family. Yet, voters have been denied a robust debate on these topics despite the clear separation between Jason Crow and Mike Coffman on these vital issues. We are contacting you today to urge you to ensure that this important discussion is included in your upcoming debate.
We request that you ask the candidates how they plan to address the crisis of abortion access in Colorado. We know that Roe v. Wade has never been a reality without access to abortion care. The new makeup of the Supreme Court poses a very real threat to Roe and could make access even more difficult in some communities. Safe, legal, and accessible abortion is foundational to a woman’s ability to determine her own destiny. It is an issue close to the lives of Colorado men and women, whether they are young or old, single or married, or have children or not. Crow and Coffman both have proven records and have taken stances on where they align on women’s reproductive freedom.
Abortion is not a “niche” issue. Asking about abortion means demanding that the candidates tell us what they think about gender equality and a woman’s right to determine what happens to her own body. It means moving a complex discussion past the simple “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels so they can talk about their ideas for supporting women and families. It means determining whether a candidate thinks a woman deserves full access to the values of freedom, equality, and opportunity that Coloradans believe in.
Opening up this conversation would allow voters to compare the two agendas of the candidates: do they believe women should be equal partners in society, or would they prefer to punish women and control our bodies for ideological reasons?
In past debates, moderators have typically posed questions about abortion that skirt the lived reality of countless women. We hope that your questions capture the true needs of women.
Below are questions we propose you ask:
- Seven in 10 Coloradans support keeping abortion both legal and accessible. What will you do represent these individuals in Congress?
- Among all of the barriers to accessing abortion care for American women, financial burdens rank highest. Many policies prevent low-income women from using public health insurance to access this medical service, and clinic closure laws have been so detrimental that it now requires considerable financial means to take time off work, find childcare and travel long distances to access abortion care. How would you ensure that the constitutional right to abortion is guaranteed to all families in Colorado, regardless of their income status?
- There are more than 70 fake women’s health centers currently operating in Colorado. Many of these centers portray themselves to the public as healthcare centers that have doctors on staff and provide the full spectrum of reproductive health care when in fact they do not. Do you believe that these fake women’s health centers should have to legally disclose their true mission and the services that they provide so women have a true understanding of these centers’ operations?
- In the face of threats to Roe v. Wade at the federal level, would you work to ensure that Roe v. Wade is protected and that abortion is not criminalized if you’re elected?
National Political Director
NARAL Pro-Choice America