Friday, May 14, 2010

Stand with Joe Hoeffel

The National Organization for Women in PA enthusiastically supports Joe Hoeffel for Governor. He's got experience. He's got a record on our issues. But most exciting, he's got a backbone. He's a progressive, feminist candidate and proud of it.

He's also the smartest guy in the race with solid plans to grow Pennsylvania's economy, to keep money in the state, and to create 21st century, family-sustaining jobs. He recommends a sensible approach to the Marcellus Shale, and supports a moratorium to drilling in the Delaware watershed so potential harms to our drinking water can be evaluated. He proposes local control over handgun laws, which would give urban areas the legal foundation they need to drive down homicides, while leaving rural gun issues alone. He is a staunch advocate for women's rights: equal pay for equal work, equal access to healthcare, and reproductive rights. He supports gay marriage.

Dan Onorato, by contrast, does not support marriage equality. Onorato is also anti-abortion. He has stated he will support the status quo on abortion, but the status quo is harmful to women. His refusal to deal head-on with the reproductive issues so central to women's lives is a refusal seen at every level of government. It leads to chronic underfunding of access to family planning education, allows insurance companies to refuse to cover birth control, and has, by neglect, created broad negative consequences for maternity care. At the national level we saw that reproductive rights are vulnerable because they are not important enough to a majority of legislators to defend- they are viewed as 'chips' in the 'game'. Meanwhile women suffer. This attitude creates the conditions for back alley operations: it begets misery. Onorato is the Party-annointed frontrunner, which begs the question, how serious can the Democratic Party be about women's issues? Onorato's attitude, reflective of the Party stance, is to put reproductive rights on the backburner. Again.

Extremists nationwide come up with novel assaults on women's reproductive rights every day. Recently Oklahoma's state legislature passed a law allowing doctors to withhold information from women about their baby's birth defect, apparently to prevent abortions. Oklahoma and other states are pushing reproductive rights as far backwards as they can. They know there's a reactionary Supreme Court just waiting for the right case. Now is the time to move reproductive rights to the frontburner.

The basis of a woman's freedom is her ability to decide for herself when she will become a parent. Joe Hoeffel understands that. He also happens to be good on the economy, labor, government reform, and the environment. He's the total package. All along he's been direct and clear about his plans for Pennsylvania and on the issues. All along Joe Hoeffel has stood right up and championed women's rights, worker's rights, LGBT rights. But the ultimate decision will be made by voters on May 18th. With Joe a close second in polls, your vote is crucial. Now it's time for us to stand up with Joe Hoeffel.

by Caryn Hunt


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