Questions for Martha McSally: What is your position on women’s access to health care, contraception, and safe and legal abortions?

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

In this new series, "Questions for Martha McSally," we pose questions to
the McSally campaign about her positions on current hot topics — I am
not going to give her a free pass until after the GOP primary like our local media did in 2012.

Preface: The GOP war on women continues unabated. Halfway Through 2013, States Have Already Enacted More Than 100 Provisions Related To Reproduction, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. On Thursday, the North Carolina House Passed New Restrictions on Abortion. The Texas Senate takes up abortion this afternoon.

In 2012, the Arizona legislature enacted a 20-week ban on abortions, and attempted to defund Planned Parenthood clinics. Both measures have been enjoined by the federal court as violative of federal law, and the constitutional right to a abortion recognized in Roe. v. Wade.

The Arizona legislature also enacted a law granting an exemption to religious organizations to provide contraception coverage in health care insurance, and a Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law creating arbitrary standards that apply only to abortion clinics and providers aimed at closing down abortion clinics. A bill for unannounced surprise inspections of abortion clinics died late in the legislative session this year, because it would have been in violation of a court decision.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) last month introduced a similar 20-week ban on abortions in Congress to extend the ban to all states, which the GOP controlled House recently approved.

Martha McSally frequently refers to herself as a "woman warrior" (because she was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force). But will she be a "warrior for women"?

What is Martha McSally's position on women's access to health care, contraception, and safe and legal abortions?

More specfically:

Does McSally support Arizona's 20-week abortion ban which has been enjoined by the federal court as violative of the constitutional right to an abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade?

Does McSally support Rep. Trent Franks' similar 20-week abortion ban bill recently introduced in Congress, and approved by the GOP controlled House? Would she have co-sponsored this bill if a member of Congress? Would she vote in favor of this bill if she was currently a member of Congress?

If so, is McSally's support for the 20-week abortion ban for the purpose of getting the law before the U.S. Supreme Court for reconsideration of its 40-year old decision in Roe v. Wade? Does McSally support a ban on all abortions, even in the cases of rape, incest, or to preserve the life of the mother?

If so, does she support criminal penalties for a woman who seeks an abortion and for a medical professional who provides an abortion?

Does McSally support TRAP laws creating arbitrary standards that apply only to abortion clinics and providers aimed at closing down abortion clinics?

Does McSally support the "Personhood Amendment," sponsored by Personhood USA, which defines life as beginning at conception, and that would prohibit abortion and many forms of birth control?

Does McSally support attempts to defund Planned Parenthood on the theory that funding Planned Parenthood's health care services "indireclty subsidizes" the abortion services it also provides (3 percent of its services)? Does she realize that state and federal law already prohibits public funds to be used for abortions, and that Planned Parenthood maintains separate accounting for the services it provides?

Does McSally support any employer (not just a religious employer) making decisions regarding contraceptive coverage in employer-provided health care plans based upon a religious objection of the employer? On what basis does she believe that the employer's religious belief takes precedence over the religious belief, if any, of a company employee? In particular, in situations where the employer is a publicly traded corporation, rather than a closely held corporation or family-owned business?

Does McSally support the recent federal court decision requiring the Plan B One-Step "morning after" contraceptive to be available to women age 15 and over without prescriptions or restrictions on where it can be sold? Or would she sponsor and/or support legislation as a member of Congress to overturn this federal court decision?

Does McSally support Arizona's “refusal clause” (also known as "conscience clause") law which grants pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense drugs related to contraception, including refusal to dispense emergency contraception drugs (e.g., Plan B One-Step) on moral grounds?

We do not have answers to these questions from McSally's campaign in 2012, because they were not asked (or answered in any responsive way), and some of the questions pertain to events that occurred after the 2012 election. This is what little we do know from 2012:

At a 2012 Saddlebrooke debate, Martha McSally stated that she is "pro-life" (which is more accurately described as "forced birth," because this religious movement does not believe in a woman's constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion). Saying that you are "pro-life" is just checking off the boxes before GOP primary voters. What is McSally's level of support for the "pro-life" religious movement?

In 2012, when asker her position on abortion, McSally said "I believe in the sanctity of all human life." In a follow-up question as to whether this extends to cases of rape or incest, she repeated that "I believe in the sanctity of all human life." This is a non-responsive answer, hence the questions above. Unlike reporters who must take the answer given, lawyers will continue to ask the question until the deponent provides a responsive answer.

In 2012, when asked "in terms of legislating that: In cases of rape or incest, should women have a right to an abortion?," McSally gave this unbelievable response: "The legislators are not really involved in this issue right now. We have a Supreme Court decision, so I'll be focusing on things that the House of Reprrsentatives needs to be doing." Well, that's all well and good, but since Tea-Publicans took control of the Congress and many state legislatures in January 2011, the Tea-Publican Party has been all about Abortion! Abortion!! Abortion!!! That was true then, and it is true now. Republican legislators at both the state and federal level are fixated on placing unduly burdensome restrictions on access to abortion, in violation of Supreme Court precedents. So it is time for McSally to provide a responsive answer to the questions above.

In 2012, McSally gave an answer to a question about contraception coverage, in the context of the "controversy" over the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage madate at the time, in which she said that "The whole thought that you would have to have a woman go to her employer and explain that she is taking birth control for health reasons and not for birth control reasons is ludicrous." On this we can agree.

However, since that time, a compromise federal regulation on contraception coverage in health care plans was announced, and several court cases challenging the regulation have been filed which may find their way in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Arizona also enacted its state law in 2012 granting a religious employer an exemption to contraceptive coverage in health care plans. So McSally needs to clarify her position with a more precise response.

Voters in Congressional District 2 have the right to know your positions
on current hot topics, Ms. McSally. Feel free to answer these questions by
posting a comment. More questions to follow.

3 responses to “Questions for Martha McSally: What is your position on women’s access to health care, contraception, and safe and legal abortions?

  1. Thank you. The media should put thi in their file. This puts McSally at odds with many Tea-Publicans who do not support any exceptions to abortion.

    It also puts her at odds with the Republican Party Platform, which endorses two strategies to “affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life.” The first is a constitutional “human life amendment” to protect the rights of the unborn. The second is legislation to “make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to the unborn.” McSally needs to be pinned down on her support for the Republican Party Platform.

    Those two acts taken together would mean that an adult woman may be deprived of her priviliges and immunities as a U.S. citizen, in violation of equal protection (no man would ever suffer such a deprivation of rights), and without due process of law simply by virtue of a pregnancy.

    As it has often been said, Republicans only care about human life from the moment of conception until birth. After that, you’re on your own, baby!

  2. Ellen McGregor

    I asked her about abortion on the John C Scott radio show. She said she was pro-life and had 3 exceptions: life of the mother, rape, and incest. Ellen

  3. Christopher Memminger

    What is this obsession with regulating individuals reproduction choices and denying any regulation of guns or banks run amuck. It sounds like some Taliban dominated patch of the Middle East. The war on women’s choices continues,