Briefline

With no Republican condemnation of violence against abortion facilities, House Democrats respond

By: - January 12, 2023 3:07 pm

Almost 3,000 protesters gathered at the Capitol in downtown Denver on June 24, 2022, in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, which had guaranteed abortion rights. (Andrew Fraieli for Colorado Newsline)

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver and a group of fellow Democrats introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday condemning all forms of political violence regardless of intent or target. The resolution came in response to a Republican measure condemning attacks only against anti-abortion facilities. 

The Republican-led resolution passed the House Wednesday in a 222-209 vote. The Democratic resolution’s sponsors said the Republican Party’s “blatant refusal to condemn the violence against pro-choice entities as part of their resolution sends a dangerous message that could further embolden the extremists behind such attacks.”

All three of Colorado’s Republican U.S. representatives — Lauren Boebert of Silt, Ken Buck of Windsor and Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs — voted in favor of the Republican-led resolution, which calls on the Biden administration to use law enforcement resources to protect the rights of “pro-life facilities, groups, and churches.” The resolution also emphasizes the importance of these facilities in supporting women. 

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Co-sponsors of the Democratic bill include Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Thornton, as well as Barbara Lee of California and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. DeGette, who co-chairs the House Pro-Choice Caucus, said Republicans’ intentional exclusion of abortion care patients and providers sends a “dangerous signal” to extremists. 

“It’s imperative that Congress remain united in condemning all forms of political violence in this country — regardless of who is behind it,” DeGette said in a statement. “Anything less will only embolden those who are spreading the hate-filled rhetoric that’s tearing this country apart.”

The resolution says reproductive health care personnel have long been subjected to intimidation, threats and violence, and it condemns all acts of political violence. It also said the House affirms the right to access reproductive health care and advice without fear of violence or harassment.

“As a doctor, I’ve sat next to women as they made difficult choices over having an abortion,” Caraveo said in a statement. “This is always a painstaking decision. No woman should have to also fear for her life because of attacks on health care facilities. And no doctor should have to worry about their career because they cared for their patient.”

Republicans have a majority in the House, and the Democratic-led resolution was unlikely to succeed.

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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