The Arizona Democratic Party sent out a bulletin yesterday linking Republican Martha McSally, the former combat pilot who nearly unseated Congressman Ron Barber last year, to Congressman Trent Franks, whose comments about rape and pregnancy made national news this week.
Here's the Democrats' press release:
Congressional candidate Martha McSally should be more careful about the company she keeps. Congressman Trent Franks was among McSally’s earliest and most ardent admirers in her failed District 2 Congressional race last year.
The same Trent Franks who McSally described as a “great conservative leader” is also the latest example of the GOP’s Neanderthal approach to women’s issues. Franks enraged rational people everywhere by telling the House Judiciary Committee, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is very low.”
Does McSally still think that Franks is, "an example to every member of Congress of how to lead with integrity and humility while fighting for the values that we as Americans hold dear"? If she thinks that Franks is a great leader who is fighting for the values we hold dear, what does that say about Martha McSally’s judgment? Does her support of Trent Franks mean Martha McSally doesn’t believe in the Constitution which protects a woman’s right to choose?
“Whatever her answer, it is clear Martha McSally is out of touch and out of step with mainstream Arizonans,” said DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. “The people of District 2 are fortunate that Ron Barber, a man who truly reflects their values, is their congressman.”
The Range reached out to McSally yesterday, but we haven't heard back from her yet. We'll let you know if she responds.
When the question of rape and abortion came up in the 2012 campaign, McSally backed away from her original stance that abortion should be banned in all cases except when the life of the mother was at stake. She said she would support exceptions for rape and incest, but otherwise supported a ban on all abortions. As The Range reported at the time:
In the Congressional District 2 race, Republican Martha McSally also told the Center for Arizona Policy that she opposed abortion in cases of rape and incest.
In a February interview with the Weekly, McSally declined to state her position on legal abortion in cases of rape or incest, saying that “legislators are not really involved in this issue right now. We have a Supreme Court decision, and so I'll be focusing on things that the House of Representatives needs to be doing.”
But last week, McSally spokesman Bruce Harvie told TW that McSally opposes abortion rights but “supports exemptions for rape, incest and the life of mothers.”
Harvie said that McSally considered Akin’s comments to be “absolutely reprehensible.”
Democratic Congressman Ron Barber, who will face McSally (barring an unlikely upset in tomorrow’s primary election), supports abortion rights.
"I support that (ruling) and support the right of a woman to make that decision, which is a very difficult one for the woman who has to make it," Barber told the Weekly in May. "We don't need government or anyone else making that decision."
Barber has also been critical of new state laws restricting abortion and federal funding for Planned Parenthood in Arizona.
McSally has not yet said whether she'll try for a rematch against Barber next year.