Letter: Women as political pawns | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Women as political pawns

An ad sponsored by supporters of Mark Udall has been running on television accusing Republican senatorial candidate Cory Gardner of trying to redefine the word “rape.” In fact, the reverse is true. The ad is sponsored by the Senate Majority PAC, whose contributors (according to a variety of sources) include Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge-fund manager, and several unions. Gardner has called upon Udall to disavow the ad, but Colorado’s incumbent senator has neglected to do so, making him complicit in the falsehood.

The ad is based on a 2011 bill in Congress on the subject of federal funding for abortions. The bill provided exceptions to the long-standing prohibition on federal funding of abortions. Those exceptions were for rape or incest or where the mother’s life is in jeopardy. However, in its initial form the bill included the word “forcible” in the context of rape. Gardner demanded that the added word be removed so that the exception permitted by the bill would apply to all rape cases, and the added word was removed in the next version of the bill. These facts are explained in detail in a “Reality Check” piece by reporter Shaun Boyd, of CBS News in Denver, hardly a Republican source. A video clip of that report can be found at http://cbsloc.al/1ndBLuj.

In Pitkin County, we worry about the nature of political discourse in our society, realizing that civil and fact-based discussions among partisans of whatever stripe are key to preserving a healthy democracy. One wonders why Udall has not disavowed this slanderous ad.

The ad is particularly scurrilous because it uses an issue that is extremely hurtful to victims of unspeakable acts to further the ambitions of a politician. How sick can you get? When does using women as political pawns stop?

Frieda Wallison

Pitkin County Republicans chairwoman, Old Snowmass

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