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April 8, 2013

NARAL Pro-Choice America: Rep. Lynch Opposes Full Rights for Servicewomen in Debate

U.S. Senate Contender Refuses to Defend Rights of Women who Defend All of Our Rights

Washington, D.C. — Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, pointed to Rep. Stephen Lynch's statement in tonight's debate opposing the right for servicewomen stationed on a military base to seek abortion care as one more reason that women cannot trust Rep. Lynch to represent their interests in the Senate.

During the April 8 U.S. Senate debate between Lynch and Rep. Ed Markey, Lynch used an opportunity to outline his views on reproductive choice for women to voice his belief that the women in the military do not deserve the same access to abortion services and care as other American women. "There is no free choice on a military base," Lynch said. "If you want free choice, you don’t make it happen on a military base."

Rep. Lynch's comment comes despite the fact that base hospitals are the primary source of most or all medical care for military personnel based overseas.

"Rep. Lynch’s comments that the women who sacrifice the most for our country are not entitled to the freedom that they are fighting so hard to protect shows that he is unfit to lead Massachusetts and serve in the United States Senate," Hogue said. "Anyone who makes the choice to serve our country in uniform deserves our utmost trust and respect, and that includes trusting her to make her own health care choices."

From 2002 to 2006, Lynch was the only member of the Massachusetts delegation to vote against allowing women in the military to use private funds to pay for abortions at overseas military hospitals. Markey voted in favor of this measure and has had a fully pro-choice record for 30 years.

Hogue continued, "If Lynch refuses to stand up for those who fight to protect our freedom, how can Massachusetts voters trust Lynch to stand up for them? This is why elections matter. We need a pro-choice champion in the senate who supports our freedom here and abroad—Rep. Ed Markey is that choice."

A recent poll conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice America and the League of Conservation Voters found that primary voters overwhelmingly share Markey's views over Lynch's on key issues - 81 percent of primary voters prefer a candidate who supports a woman's right to choose, and 75 percent favor a candidate who voted for President Obama's health-care reform law.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Ed Markey to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate and gave the maximum contribution of $5,000 to his special primary election.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its affiliate, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, have more than 128,000 activists, members, and supporters who we will organize on behalf of Ed Markey.

For more information about NARAL Pro-Choice America’s electoral work, please visit our Elections page.


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