At a Friday press conference in downtown St. Paul, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) claimed that women can’t have “economic security” without access to abortion.
The press conference was organized in opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, who poses a threat to the pro-choice movement.
“We know, based on his record, and the process that led to his nomination that Judge Kavanaugh is a serious threat to women’s freedom to make their own health care choices, and to live the lives that they want to lead. So the stakes are high,” Smith said at the press conference. “President Trump believes that he can count on Judge Kavanaugh to cast that decisive fifth vote to overturn Roe.”
Smith went on to reveal that she has served as both “a volunteer and an executive at Planned Parenthood here in Minnesota,” which taught her “that the right to safe, high-quality reproductive health care has a profound impact on the lives that women lead.”
“That’s because women can’t have economic security if they don’t have the freedom to decide when and how to raise a family. And I trust women to make that decision for themselves and for their family,” she continued, arguing that “women do not need the government looking over the shoulder of their physicians.”
Smith then asked the crowd to consider the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade, which she believes would result in at least “22 states” taking “these private, personal decisions away from women and putting them into the hands of the public-controlled legislatures.”
Other states have policies that would “impose burdensome, and medically unnecessary requirements” if Roe v. Wade is overturned, Smith added.
“So this is a pivotal moment in our democracy. If women lose the freedom to make their own choices about their reproductive health care, they lose the freedom to direct their own lives—their personal lives, their careers, their own economic security, and that of their families,” Smith concluded her speech to applause from attendees.
Her opponent, Republican Karin Housley spoke out against Smith’s “blind opposition and partisan obstruction” during this week’s confirmation hearings.
“The night Judge Kavanaugh was even nominated, the president had barely said his name, and Tina Smith was railing against him from the steps of the Capitol,” Housley commented in a recent video. This is the sort of blind opposition and partisan obstruction that Minnesotans despise, and it’s why nothing is getting done in Washington.”
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].