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July 19, 2012

Pro-Choice Group Applauds Cicilline’s Consistent Pro-Choice Values, Questions Gemma’s Conflicting Statements

As attacks on choice escalate in the House, voters want consistency and stability

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that her organization’s political action committee endorsed Rep. David Cicilline in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.

The group’s endorsement comes as Rep. Cicilline’s primary opponent, Anthony Gemma, is attempting a make-over as a review of his record shows conflicting statements regarding his position on reproductive freedom.  On June 15, 2010, as a candidate for elected office, Gemma made the following statement to the Providence Journal when asked about social issues: “I’m in favor of gay marriage, and, I am pro-life with the exception of the safety of the mother, rape and incest.” As recently as April 16 on a radio program, Gemma described himself as a “pro-life Democrat.” Recently, as public opinion has turned against congressional attacks on contraception and other women’s health-related issues, Gemma has said he would protect reproductive rights.

“Rep. Cicilline has a perfect pro-choice voting record, and we value his unwavering support for the women in his district,” Keenan said. “I am not overstating things when I say anti-choice politicians in the House are attacking choice on a daily basis. Women can count on Rep. Cicilline, but Anthony Gemma is another story. In 2010, Mr. Gemma described himself as a ‘pro-life’ candidate. Now, he claims to be pro-choice. My fear is that Mr. Gemma wants to hop on the pro-choice bandwagon as the anti-choice agenda unfolding in the House is becoming more and more unpopular. It is a matter of consistency versus conflicting statements.”

Keenan noted that this week anti-choice leaders moved on a health-care spending bill that, among many egregious things, eliminates key programs for contraception. Another committee passed a bill, H.R.3803, targeting the reproductive rights of women in Washington, D.C. H.R.3803 is one of three stand-alone anti-choice bills House leaders have advanced in the last four months.  This year’s anti-choice activity builds on what happened in 2011, when the House held eight votes on choice-related issues (the highest number since 2000).

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