The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund congratulates Massachusetts’ newest representative Seth Moulton (6thDistrict)! Before Representative-elect Moulton heads to Washington, he let us ask him a few questions about his dedication to protecting women’s health and rights.
Why are women's health and rights important to you?
Women have a fundamental right to make their own health care decisions, and the government should not come between a woman and her doctor. That’s simply not negotiable. Attempting to restrict women’s rights isn’t just bad for women—it’s bad for families, it’s bad for colleagues, and it’s bad for a country founded upon the values of freedom and equal rights. I’m proud to stand alongside women across the country in the fight for reproductive freedom and economic equality.
You’ve said you will stand up to extremists in Congress who want to restrict women’s health. With anti-women’s health leadership expanding their control in the U.S. House of Representatives, how can we count on you to defend women’s health care and speak out against any dangerous attacks on women’s health and rights?
There are some places where we can compromise—and where we must work together to get things done—but there are some things that are core principles and are non-negotiable. Protecting equal access to health care is one of the latter. It can be tough to do the right thing. In Iraq, we faced situations every day when it would have been easier to take a shortcut, or let something go instead of fighting an injustice. But we did the right thing even, and especially, if it was hard. I will bring that same attitude with me to Washington, and I will always stand on the side of equal rights.
New polling reveals that 78% of voters do not think the government should restrict abortion access – why do you think politicians continuously try to undermine access to sexual and reproductive health care?
The biggest problem in Washington today is a lack of political courage. Too many politicians are afraid to go against their party leadership or moneyed interests to do what is right. I don’t think that most members of Congress actually think it’s a good idea to restrict women’s access to health care. I think they are just too afraid of the political consequences to do the right thing in today’s highly polarized atmosphere.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court gave bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage. What will you do in Congress to ensure that all women have affordable access to birth control?
Fortunately, Democrats have already started pushing back against the dangerous ruling in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell this summer. I stand behind Congresswomen Louise Slaughter and Diana DeGette’s Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014 as well as the companion legislation proposed by Senators Patty Murray and Mark Udall in the Senate.
What will you miss most about leaving Massachusetts and going down to Capitol Hill?
Massachusetts is full of the vibrant small towns that make America great. While I will be spending more time in Washington, I will be returning to Massachusetts as often as possible and will never lose touch with the communities I have been elected to represent. Whether it is spending time with the fishermen in Gloucester, working on economic development in Lynn, or attending the Boxford Apple Festival, you can trust that I will always put Massachusetts first.
Any last words you want to share with us?
Thank you so much for your support and all you are doing for women and families in Massachusetts. I have a lot of things I’m anxious to get done, but my first priority will be listening to the people of Massachusetts. Over the next two months, I will be setting up offices and building a team to serve this district as well as I possibly can. What I ask in return is that you stay involved. I want to hear what you are hearing. I want to see what you are seeing. And I want to work with you to make every community in the 6th district a better place to live and work.
It is my honor to serve our country again, and to serve our community in Congress. Thank you for the tremendous trust you have placed in me.
We have a lot to do. Let’s get started.