Time for Karen to apologize


Geraldine Sealey
April 27, 2004 9:33PM (UTC)

Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood is calling on Bush flack Karen Hughes to apologize for comparing reproductive rights supporters to terrorists.

John Aravosis, a DC-based writer and consultant, posted Feldt's letter on his blog: "Invoking 9/11 to defend this administration's policies regarding reproductive rights was an insensitive and divisive overreach.

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We are all Americans, and we are patriots, too, Ms. Hughes. And we will not cease in our efforts to fight the attempts by this administration and this Congress to restrict reproductive rights, family planning, medical privacy, and so many other important factors in a woman's right to care for herself and her family without intrusion from government or politicians. We do this precisely because we value human life and dignity so much.

Your friends in the administration have repeatedly stated that our troops are fighting for freedom: to allow people to control their own lives and make their own decisions. Yet this administration and this Congress are working to take away American women's rights to make their own decisions.

If anyone has an understanding gap regarding women's rights at this troubled time in our history, it is not those of us who oppose anti-choice, anti-women policies.

An apology is in order. The horror of 9/11 has been used inappropriately too many times, and this is clearly such an incident."

Remember when Jerry Falwell said this right after 9/11, bringing on widespread derision? "[T]he pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way all of them who have tried to secularize America ... I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

At the time, the White House told reporters the president did not share Falwell's views. The White House should also distance itself from Hughes' comments. Does the White House really think, as Hughes suggested, that Americans who support reproductive freedom share values with "the terror network we fight"?

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Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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