U.S. Rep. Moore Responds to Racially Insensitive Comments Made by Rep. Duffy
“It’s painfully obvious that Representative Duffy’s concern for life ends as soon as the umbilical cord is cut.”
Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) delivered remarks on the House Floor in response to racially insensitive comments made by Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07). Below are the Congresswoman’s full remarks:
“Over the years, I’ve heard some absurd comments from my Republican colleagues about abortion. Some have compared Planned Parenthood to drug dealers, abortion factories, and the KKK. I’ve heard grown men debate “legitimate rape” on the live television. I’ve even seen a Republican lawmaker put forth the claim that if women are allowed to have abortions, men should be allowed to rape.
“After nearly 30 years in public office, not much surprises me anymore. So you can imagine my lack of astonishment when a conservative member of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation recently used abortion statistics as a means to lecture Black legislators like myself about defending the welfare of our constituents.
“Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women are guaranteed the privacy and power to make medical decisions concerning their own bodies, anti-choice legislators like Representative Sean Duffy have been trying to end safe and legal abortion. A tactic that has long been a part of their strategy is using inflammatory racial arguments and deceptive claims to stigmatize abortion in communities of color.
“I don’t expect Representative Duffy to understand why his comments were so offensive, nor do I anticipate him apologizing for them. What he and so many of his Republican colleagues fail to understand is the underlying context behind high abortion rates in African American communities. High rates of abortion are related to poverty and lack of access to prevention services. A number of African American women face multiple barriers to accessing quality, affordable health care, which can lead to higher rates of both unintended pregnancy and abortion.
“Representative Duffy’s hypocrisy on this issue is as predictable as it is offensive. If he truly believes that we all should be fighting for the “hopeless and voiceless” among us, why doesn’t he stand with us as we defend Planned Parenthood, an organization committed to ensuring all communities, and especially those most in need, have access to high-quality care? Where was his support when my Congressional Black Caucus colleagues and I tried to secure greater funding for SNAP, WIC, and Head Start? Where was his advocacy when we needed Republican support to ensure that we have highly trained and qualified school personnel like social workers and counselors for our most vulnerable students?
“It’s painfully obvious that Representative Duffy’s concern for life ends as soon as the umbilical cord is cut. That being said, I don’t believe that his comments were said in malice or meant to inflict harm. Representative Duffy’s rhetoric is indicative of someone who just doesn’t know any better. I suggest that Representative Duffy educate himself on these critical issues.”