Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is proud to endorse Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General.
Senator Kwame Raoul has the experience, expertise, and the leadership qualities we need in an Attorney General. He has served as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office and as an attorney in private practice. Through his 14 years of public service as the state senator representing the 13th district, Senator Raoul has seen firsthand how laws impact the lives of real people. It is that experience, that makes him well suited for Attorney General.
We need an Attorney General who understands that our laws should support the health and well-being of all of us. At a time when our right to access the health care we need is under attack, we must elect an Attorney General who will lead the fight to protect our rights.
It is Senator Raoul’s longstanding commitment to advancing reproductive rights and health care that won him PPIA’s enthusiastic support. Senator Raoul has fought every bill aimed at imposing restrictions on abortion. But, the senator hasn’t settled for simply protecting the status quo. He has been a leader for us by co-sponsoring HB 40, which not only ensures that abortion will remain safe and legal in Illinois, but also guarantees coverage for women who rely on government funded health insurance. Senator Raoul voted for important laws like sex education and insurance coverage of birth control. He supported the law that requires patients receive medically accurate and complete information about their health condition and treatment options if they are denied health care because of a religious objection. And, most recently, he was a co-sponsor of the Illinois resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Senator Raoul’s opponent’s record couldn’t be more different. Erika Harold is a private practice attorney who specializes in expanding the religious rights of companies and other organizations. While she has never held public office, she has demonstrated strong conservative values that threaten our rights.
About 20 years ago, Ms. Harold was a spokesperson for Project Reality, an abstinence-only-until-marriage organization. In this role and later as the 2003 Miss America, Ms. Harold promoted an abstinence message filled with stereotypes, bias, and outright fallacies. She spread misinformation, claiming that condoms didn’t work and that promiscuity was related to violence and sexual harassment. These notions are damaging to our youth and fail to provide them with the information they need to be safe and healthy.
In subsequent years, as Ms. Harold developed a greater interest in holding political office, she has revealed her extreme views on abortion. Ms. Harold opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. She’s been vocal about it, even speaking at a conference hosted by the Illinois Family Institute and the Pro-life Action League, two rabidly anti-abortion organizations.
Ms. Harold wants to be Attorney General at a time when that office is defending two laws essential to reproductive rights against litigation brought by anti-abortion groups. The next Attorney General will be in a position to decide how these cases proceed and how vigorously these laws will be defended.
Ms. Harold claims that she will uphold the law even if she doesn’t agree with it. But, her extreme views give us pause. Can we really trust her to fully and wholeheartedly stand up to anti-abortion organizations that are trying to take away our rights? Given her record, we cannot take the risk.
The bottom line is that we need an Attorney General who has a strong record of standing up for a woman’s right to make the informed decisions when it comes to her healthcare.
That’s why Kwame Raoul is our choice for Attorney General.