RMC advisor Governor Christine Todd Whitman discusses bipartisan call for the United States Supreme Court to reject Texas HB2Posted: February 3, 2016
Republican Majority for Choice leads bi-partisan call for the United States Supreme Court to uphold Constitutional protections of liberty and privacy.
Washington, D.C., February 3, 2016 – Today Republican Majority for Choice (RMC) advisor Governor Christine Todd Whitman affirmed that the core GOP ideals of individual freedom and limited government intrusion must extend to social issues, including a woman’s right to choose.
In January, Whitman joined RMC and Republican office holders in submitting an amicus brief in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case involving restrictions that block access to safe, legal abortion and threaten to close family planning clinics. “As a life long Republican I hold dear our core party ideals of individual freedom and limited government intrusion,” said Governor Whitman. “Respecting individuals and recognizing a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body seems to me to be an inherently conservative principle.”
Governor Whitman was joined today by Congressman Mark Veasey, a Texas Democrat, and Kathryn Kolbert, the attorney who argued the 1992 Casey case before Supreme Court case, in outlining the bipartisan call for the Court to affirm longstanding precedent by upholding the constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion services.
An unprecedented collection of diverse organizations and individuals filed forty-five amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to reject Texas HB2 which has already led to the closure of family planning clinics. These briefs reflect bipartisan consensus among members of different political parities, trusted medical experts, pediatricians, family physicians, public health specialists and faith leaders.
RMC National Co-Chair Candace Straight, a lead signer for the RMC amicus brief stated, “For forty-three years, the right to privacy and to make personal medical choices have been guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of the United States.” Straight continued, “Abortion is controversial and divisive, an issue where people of good conscience disagree. However, it is not the role of the government to dictate morality. Implicit in the right to choose is the right to seek moral guidance from within oneself and one’s community, from spiritual advisors and trusted confidants.”
The following current and former Republican officeholders joined RMC National Co-Chairs, Susan Bevan and Candace Straight in filing the brief emphasizing the belief that ideologically motivated legislation designed to deny individual rights is antithetical to the Republican philosophy and that only through small, less intrusive government will individual rights be honored and preserved.
The Honorable Nancy Johnson – Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Connecticut
The Honorable Constance Morella – Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Maryland
The Honorable Claudine Schneider – Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Rhode Island
The Honorable Christopher Shays – Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Connecticut
The Honorable Richard Zimmer – Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of New Jersey
The Honorable William Weld – Former Governor of Massachusetts
The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman – Former Governor of New Jersey
The Honorable Carolyn Allen – Former Member of the Arizona Senate Former Member and Majority Leader of the Arizona House of Representatives
The Honorable Steve Cloud – Former Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
The Honorable Elizabeth Coulson – Former Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
Representative Sarah Davis – Current Member of the Texas House of Representatives
Representative Kathy Hawken – Current Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
The Honorable Lucile P. Hicks – Former Member and First Assistant Minority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate Former Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Honorable Brian Lees – Former Member and Minority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate
The Honorable Becky Morgan – Former Member of the California Senate
Senator Richard Ross – Current Member and Assistant Minority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate Former Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Senator Diane Snelling – Current Member of the Vermont Senate
The Honorable Richard Tisei – Former Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Former Member and Minority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate
The Honorable Daniel B. Winslow – Former Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Honorable Corinne Wood – Former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois Former Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
RMC News Squibs:
The CDC endorsed a more effective HPV vaccine to prevent cancer. The HPV vaccine is currently recommended for girls and boys ages 11to 12. The HPV-9 protects against nine strains of HPV, an infection that can lead to cervical and other cancers, including mouth and throat cancers.
Lexington Herald Leader (Frankfort, KY)
the Kentucky Senate gave final approval and sent to Gov. Matt Bevin a controversial anti-abortion bill on Monday. The measure initially required women to have a face-to-face medical consultation at least 24 hours before an abortion. The House amended the bill to let women choose between a face-to-face meeting and a live video chat. The Senate on Monday agreed with the House change and approved it on a 33-5 vote.
Wisconsin Public Radio (Madison, WI)
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of overreaching Texas law that could lead to the closure of family planning clinics.
RMC Allies in the News
Chicago Tribune (Kenilworth, IL)
New campaign reports show that RMC ally and mainstream Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Dold leads his Democratic rivals in fundraising in the 10th Congressional District, new campaign reports show.
Maine NPR News Source (Washington, DC)
Republican US Senator Susan Collins is cautious on calls for modernization of Military, stating that while weapons systems need to be modernized, that can’t come at the expense of readiness and training.
Alaska News Link (Anchorage, AK)
Today marks the second week that the Energy Policy Modernization Act has been debated in Washington. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski spearheaded the broad, bipartisan bill, and took to the Senate floor today to advance it.
Wall Street Journal (Des Moines, Iowa)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz outmuscled Donald Trump to win the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Monday. The results set the stage for a series of high-stakes showdowns in the weeks ahead between the top two finishers and Florida Senator Marco whose appeal as a general-election candidate was good enough for a late surge that nearly overtook Mr. Trump.
USA Today (Des Moines, Iowa)
Hillary Clinton’s campaign claimed a slim victory early Tuesday over populist firebrand Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses. With all but one precinct reporting in Iowa, Clinton clung to a sliver of a lead over Sanders early Tuesday.
New York Times (Manchester, NH)
New Hampshire offers hope to candidates who lagged in Iowa. Hours before the end of the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, three Republican candidates had already assembled in New Hampshire to rally their supporters. Anticipating disappointment in Iowa, the group — made up of current and former governors — has chosen to make a stand here instead.
National Journal (Des Moines, Iowa)
After underwhelming performances in the Iowa caucuses, the two former governors Mike Huckabee, Republican from Arkansas, and Martin O’Malley, Maryland Democrat, dropped out of Presidential race.
According to the Wall Street Journal, GOP-frontrunner Donald Trump is banking on the “newcomer” vote for his success. Strategists predict that a larger voter turnout in Iowa, particularly those voters who are caucusing for the first time, will increase Trump’s likelihood for success. Trump has recently been traveling around the state and campaigning in different areas, drawing applause for his debate boycott and attention to veterans. Cruz, Trump’s close rival, who continues to be supported by Iowa’s evangelical leaders, believes the state will back him. Mentioning that Trump’s consistent attacks on him are due to the closeness of the polls, he is making his rounds in Iowa to gain last-minute support.
What about a “strong third” Republican candidate? We constantly hear about Trump and Cruz, but a candidate who comes in third with enough of a lead against the rest of the field may have an opportunity to gain traction going into the New Hampshire primary, according to a USA Today source. Finally, with so many GOP candidates, who doesn’t survive Iowa and what are the repercussions? Many are likely to come out of the caucuses with little to no support, making it difficult for them to continue justifying their campaign runs.
The Daily Beast (Harris County, TX) It didn’t take long after Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the indictment of anti-Planned Parenthood videomakers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for the conspiracy theories to swirl.
NPR (Midland, Texas) For the past five years, the Texas Legislature has done everything in its power to defund Planned Parenthood. But it’s not so easy to target that organization without hurting family planning clinics around the state generally. Of the 82 clinics that have closed, only a third were Planned Parenthood.
Variety (USA)Trapped, a documentary about how restrictive state laws are forcing abortion clinics to close in parts of the country will premiere as Supreme Court Weighs Abortion Laws. The film will open in New York and Washington D.C. on March 4, which coincides with opening arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case that looks at Texas state regulations that abortion rights advocates claim limit access to the procedure, and could leave the state with dramatically fewer clinics.
The Daily Beast (Washington DC) The Pentagon announced Thursday a series of changes to its maternity policy, saying female troops could receive as much as 12 weeks of paid leave, new fathers could take 14 paid days off, and the military would pay for troops to freeze sperm and eggs.
Washington Post (Des Moines, Iowa) Republican presidential contender Donald Trump held a rally for Veterans in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday after skipping the Fox News GOP debate.
Huffington Post (Des Moines, Iowa) Governor Chris Christie’s argument against Planned Parenthood funding in last nights GOP debate mischaracterized the federal funding that the organization receives.
Washington Post (Washington DC) Republican presidential candidates weighed in on immigration, the Islamic State and criminal justice reform in last nights Fox News debate. The Washington post fact checks twelve interesting claims.
RMC commemorates Roe v. Wade as a vital ruling that strengthened Americans’ right to individual freedom and personal choice.Posted: January 22, 2016
Today, January 22, marks the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision recognizing the fundamental right to privacy and freedom. The Roe ruling was the decision legalizing abortion. However, we cannot forget that by reaffirming American women’s essential right to make private personal health decisions without interference from government, Roe truly was a reaffirmation of each American’s individual freedom and equality of rights under the law.
The strength of our nation lies in our diversity and understanding that, though we all walk different paths, our common and deepest held value is freedom. Each and every American holds unique values and differing religious beliefs and experiences. We all have unique opportunities and circumstances that shape our lives and our choices. Viewed through this prism and that of our nation’s venerable Constitution, allowing Americans to make decisions and choices that are best for them and for their families is quintessentially American.
After over four decades, the right to personal medical choices established by Roe is firmly embedded in the fabric of our law and society and should be settled law. Yet it is still subjected to endless, divisive public debate. Opponents continue efforts to erode the decision in state capitals across the country as countless laws are being passed all aimed at restricting the right to choose.
In fact, this March the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole case. The law in question, Texas HB2, blocks access to safe, legal abortion and threatens to close family planning clinics that provide vital preventive reproductive health care. Ideologically motivated legislation designed to deny the personal freedom is antithetical to the values of this liberty-loving nation. It is also antithetical to our founding principles, to the firmly established law of this Court, and to the Republican philosophy that only through small, less intrusive government will individual rights be honored and preserved.
As we commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Roe we are hopeful that the Court will again uphold the true intent of the decision, paved by Republican appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Conner. Roe was never about promoting abortion; it stands for limiting government intrusion and protecting personal freedom, self-determination and privacy. After decades of hostility, perhaps the decision in the Whole Women’s Health case will finally solidify this important value as settled law.
So today, let us join together to celebrate the true significance of Roe v. Wade as a vital ruling that strengthened Americans’ right to individual freedom and personal choice. With that in mind, we urge our elected leaders, on both sides, to stop using Roe as a political football and instead start working together toward commonsense solutions to the ongoing family planning challenges across America.