See below for video of Democrat Jennifer Lewis, who’s running for Congress in VA06 against far-right/insurrectionist Rep. Ben Cline (R), speaking at the “Bans Off Our Bodies Virtual Webinar” earlier today (also, check out the rest of the webinar, which was excellent, featuring Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Del. Sally Hudson, a representative from Staunton Organizing, Jennifer Kitchen and Chanda McGuffin). I’m posting this clip of Jennifer Lewis because I think she really nailed it, both in terms of the facts and also the “framing!” Check it out.
“And the last thing I want to say just is a shock factor, is what happened to me as a candidate in 2018. I was giving a live on-the-air interview to a local radio station down in Lynchburg – so Lynchburg should already be your first red flag – but we’re live on the air and he said, ‘I understand that you’re pro-choice’. I said, ‘yeah’. He said, ‘well, in my experience, most women who are pro-choice have had abortions before; have you ever had an abortion?’ Live on the radio, he is asking me my personal health information. So I looked at him and I said, ‘you know, that’s personal private health information’. And he said, ‘well, most women who are pro-choice have been raped…before in their life; have you ever been raped before?’ He’s asking a congressional candidate live on an interview over the radio if I’ve ever been raped and if I’ve ever had an abortion. Luckily, my campaign staff called me up, we just walked off the air…
I would bet my last dollar that no single man, ‘pro-life’ man, is ever asked how many children…have you adopted, how many children…or families are you sponsoring, how many electric bills have you paid, how many college tuitions are you helping pay? You know, men candidates are never asked these kind of questions – why are they pro-life, what exactly does pro-life mean to them? Because we know Ben Cline, he’s voting against Medicare for all – that’s not pro-life. He’s voting against all these legislations that equals up, totals up, he’s not pro-life. And I think we do need to re-coopt that word as like, that’s not pro-life. All of us on this call are more pro-life than any of those people are. Because we care about them having access to health care, mental health care, food, a living wage – a living wage is is is pro-life! – affordable housing is pro-life, safe education is pro-life, all of these things that we all fight for on a daily basis are more pro-life. And I think we need to start saying we are pro-life in the way that it says we are pro-choice. Because the way that they’ve been able to co-opt that word is really not accurate.
And I think the more that we we say that, we call that out, and we question them on that…as they’re campaigning, if these people knock on your door, ask them, ‘what makes you pro-life?’ ‘I don’t believe in abortion?’ OK, then you’re pro-birth. Well what after that, what after birth makes you pro-life? So I just encourage you all to really understand what we’re up against that, yes, Ben Cline can look like the the good-looking guy next door…but he’s really an extreme person and we need to vote him out.”