Reminder Ahead of Friday’s Debate: Lewis Cannot Be Trusted to Protect Minnesotans’ Health Care or Reproductive Freedom
By Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Inc. | Sept. 18, 2020, 3:19 p.m.
Lewis pushes uncompromising views that put women’s health care in extreme danger
On Friday, U.S. Senator Tina Smith and challenger Jason Lewis will face off in their first debate of the election cycle. Although Lewis may try to rewrite his health care record from the debate stage, Minnesotans know his career has been spent disparaging women and blocking improvements to health care.
Unlike Lewis, Tina Smith is a health care champion who is fighting to protect reproductive freedom and expand access to affordable health care. Senator Smith has focused on health care during her tenure in the Senate – specifically lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, as well as strengthening the rural health care system. She has authored bills to lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand mental health care options in schools. Sen. Smith also authored the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (MOMS) Act, which would help ensure that rural mothers can get the care they need and would address the poor maternal health outcomes of Black Americans.
Minnesotans deserve a U.S. senator who will work to expand access to health care — not a self-serving politician like Lewis, who can’t be trusted to protect our rights.
Statement from Tim Stanley, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund:
“For years, Jason Lewis has been unrelenting in his attacks against women, reproductive health care, health care access, and even bipartisanship. His deeply troubling views about women and women’s health care make him ill-suited to represent Minnesotans, and his disdain for compromise would be a detriment to our state. Voters in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District already voted him out of office. As the country continues to grapple with COVID-19 and reckon with racial injustice, Minnesota deserves a leader who will bring people together, not divide us. This election season, it’s time to re-elect Senator Tina Smith, our leader who will continue to champion health and safety for all Minnesotans.”
During today's debate, Minnesotans deserve to know Jason Lewis’ record of attacks on sexual and reproductive health:
- Lewis voted for the American Health Care Act, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act and gut consumer protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. [CQ, 5/4/17]
- Lewis said: “I’m vehemently opposed” to mandating that employer-sponsored health insurance cover contraception. [The Uptake, MN-02 GOP Primary Debate, 4/8/16]
- Lewis argued that “young single women” who voted based on coverage of birth control had ceased to be human beings, were “without a brain,” and had “no cognitive function whatsoever.” [CNN, 7/18/18]
- Lewis: “I happen to like gridlock. I get real nervous when politicians start to compromise.” [Fox Business, 7/22/11]
Jason Lewis and politicians opposed to abortion access do not reflect our country’s values: the majority (77%) of the American people support access to safe, legal abortion. Unlike the radical agenda pushed by Trump and Pence, poll after poll shows that voters want candidates who will protect their reproductive rights and freedom.
- Abortion is a common, safe medical procedure. Nearly one in four women in the United States will have an abortion in their lifetime. 59% of women who have abortions are already mothers. [Guttmacher Institute, September 2019]
- 77% of Americans oppose overturning Roe. v Wade. [PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, 6/07/19]
- There is no state in the nation where making abortion illegal is popular. [Public Religion Research Institute, 8/13/19]
- Abortion laws pushed by state legislatures “go against the views of most Americans,” with the state bans on abortion early in pregnancy opposed by nearly 60 percent of Americans. [PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, 6/07/19]