In a recent letter to a #Fight4HER activist, Arizona Senator Martha McSally claimed that she is “a strong supporter of ensuring women have access to birth control and reproductive health care.” However, nothing that McSally has done backs up this statement—just take a look at her voting record. While serving in the House of Representatives from 2015–2019, she voted against access to affordable health care and in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood multiple times. When called out by Planned Parenthood, her office responded, “Senator McSally is focused on providing access to actual health care for women all across Arizona.” If wellness exams, cancer screenings, prenatal care, STI and HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, and family planning services aren’t “actual” health care, then what is?
In October, McSally voted to confirm Andrew Bremberg as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations in Geneva—Bremberg is openly anti-choice, helped craft Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule, and has publicly stated that he opposes abortion even in cases of sexual violence.
McSally has also refused to meet with #Fight4HER activists—her constituents—to talk about the devastating impacts that Trump’s Global Gag Rule has had for people’s access to birth control and reproductive health care in countries that receive U.S. foreign aid.
Then there’s the fact that she’s unabashedly declared that she is “pro-life” and has “a strong pro-life record.”
It seems that McSally would like to have the best of both worlds—to be able to claim that she supports reproductive health care while supporting people and policies that work to destroy access to reproductive health care. But she can’t have it both ways. She can’t be a champion for women while also supporting anti-choice policies and politicians.
Reproductive health care is health care. It is vital for the health and well-being of all people. The people of Arizona deserve a senator who understands that fact, and who will fight for their right—and the right of people who depend on U.S. foreign assistance—to access all forms of health care.