A press release from Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff puts incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman on the hot seat over banning abortion and the Personhood ballot measures:
Romanoff's third TV ad, released today, focuses on Congressman Mike Coffman's long history of denying women the right to choose, supporting the Personhood amendment, and restricting reproductive rights. The ad features Karen, a resident of Colorado's 6th Congressional District, who emphasizes the personal nature of making these decisions and the importance of these rights.
"This is a matter of fundamental freedom. Women should have the right to make their own health care choices," said Romanoff. "No one should have to surrender her most personal decisions to a politician, an employer, or anyone else."
"These are incredibly personal decisions that every woman must make for herself, but Congressman Coffman has pushed an agenda that takes these decisions out of our hands and puts them into his," said Denise Baron, spokeswoman for the Romanoff campaign. "For 25 years, he's attempted to restrict our rights by voting to criminalize all abortions, outlaw common forms of birth control control, and restrict access to health care."
Last week, Congressman Coffman launched the first TV ad of his campaign, a brazen attempt to whitewash his decades-long opposition to women’s equality. The Romanoff campaign, along with state leaders, local activists, and CO-06 voters, launched a social media campaign to highlight the more than 50 votes the congressman has taken in the past four years to perpetuate gender discrimination and restrict women's rights. Romanoff's new ad highlights Rep. Coffman's votes and actions to restrict women's reproductive rights.
A big research dump of Coffman's anti-choice votes follows after the jump. Republicans surely aren't happy to see this ad, hitting on an issue they're as tired of as they are fearful: but there's a distinct lack of angry responses as of this writing from Coffman's campaign.
The reason may be simple: drawing further attention to this issue just makes it worse.
Mike Coffman's Record Opposing Women's Right To ChooseWomen's rights and health organizations rate Rep. Coffman's record against women's interests.
2014: 0% from Planned Parenthood
2013: 0% from NARAL Pro-Choice America
2013: 33% from National Breast Cancer Coalition (2013-2014)
2013: 33% from Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
2011: 0% from American Congress of OBGYNs
Coffman has a 25 year history of anti-choice activism
August 2008: Colorado Right to Life wrote, “Mike Coffman also has a decades-long history (20 years or more) of not just support, but active involvement in the pro-life community, over and above what would be expected of any typical Republican official. Mike Coffman has been a good and consistent friend to CRTL for many years, up to and including the last couple of years when even CRTL's strongest legislative supporters (including Harvey) found excuses not to attend CRTL events.” [Colorado Right to Life Blog, 8/11/08]
Coffman supported and even donated to the Personhood amendment, which would outlaw common forms of birth control
2008: Coffman responded to a Colorado Right to Life Candidate Questionnaire, stating “Yes” in response to the question, “Do you support the 2008 Colorado Personhood amendment effort to define ‘person’ to include any human being from the moment of fertilization?” [Colorado Right to Life, Candidate Questionnaire, 2008]
- April 2008: Coffman made a personal donation to Colorado Right to Life in 2008, when the organization was leading the effort to get the amendment on the ballot. [Colorado Secretary of State, TRACER database, contribution from Michael Coffman of $75 to Colorado Right to Life Committee, 4/4/08]
- June 2008: The Denver Post wrote that the amendment “would go far beyond its intended purpose of outlawing practically all abortions… [Some] forms of birth control…would be classified as homicide under the proposal.” [Denver Post, 6/2/08]
2010: Colorado Right to Life endorsed Coffman for reelection, saying Coffman “supports personhood” and is “pro-life with zero exceptions.” [Colorado Right to Life blog, 10/2/10]
Coffman supports allowing employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees
November 2011: Coffman co-sponsored a bill to let employers deny coverage for any service they deem against their conscience. Called the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, the bill "Declares that nothing in PPACA shall be construed to authorize a health plan to require a provider to provide, participate in, or refer for a specific item or service contrary to the provider's religious beliefs or moral convictions." [HR 1179, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, co-sponsored 11/3/2011]
September 2013: Days before the government shutdown, Coffman again voted for a “conscience clause” that would “allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.” [CNN, 9/28/13; H. J. Res. 59, Vote #498, 9/29/13]
August 2014: Coffman’s campaign manager told reporters that Coffman supports the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which allows employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees. [8/14/2014]
Coffman votes to defund Planned Parenthood
February 2011: Coffman voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides millions of women access to affordable contraception and life-saving cancer screening, as well as nutritional support for millions of newborn babies. [HR 1, Pence amendment #11, Vote #93, 2/18/11]
- “So though the fight over Planned Parenthood might be about abortion, Planned Parenthood itself isn’t about abortion. It’s primarily about contraception and reproductive health. And if Planned Parenthood loses funding, what will mainly happen is that cancer screenings and contraception and STD testing will become less available to poorer people.” [The Washington Post, 2/2/12]
February 2011: Coffman voted for a Continuing Resolution that would eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill cut more than $75 million from the organization. [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; New York Times,2/17/11]
Coffman votes to restrict women’s access to health care, including birth control
January 2011: Coffman co-sponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which prohibits HHS from providing federal family planning assistance to any entity unless it will not perform or provide funding to other entities that perform abortions except for in the cases of incest against a minor, rape, or if the mother is in danger of death. [HR 217, Introduced 1/7/11]
February 2011: Coffman voted for a budget proposal that would eliminate the Title X program: “For more than forty years, for example, the Title X program has provided family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventive health care to low-income women… It also eliminates funding for teen pregnancy prevention, creating yet another barrier for young women in need of resources to help them make responsible decisions about their health and their lives.” [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; The Hill, 2/16/11]
Coffman vehemently opposed abortion in cases of rape or incest
2008: Coffman responded to a Colorado Right to Life Candidate Questionnaire, stating that abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape. [Colorado Right to Life, Candidate Questionnaire, 2008]
October 2008: Coffman wrote in an email to a local radio host, “Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest.” [Colorado Right to Life, 10/29/08]
October 2010: Colorado Right to Life endorsed Coffman for reelection, saying Coffman “supports personhood” and is “pro-life with zero exceptions.” [Colorado Right to Life blog, 10/2/10]
January 2012: Colorado Right to Life Vice President Leslie Hanks stated that Coffman’s pro-life positions reflected the group’s candidate survey results. Hanks said, “Congressman Coffman answered all our questions correctly to reflect he is a no exceptions pro-life elected official who supports the personhood of the baby in the womb.” [Colorado Independent, 1/06/12]
Coffman co-sponsors a bill that would redefine rape
2011: Coffman joined Rep. Todd Akin in co-sponsoring the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act,” which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. Critics pointed out that "the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats." [HR 3 co-sponsors, 112th Congress; W
ashington Post, 2/01/11]
Coffman voted against necessary funding for Violence Against Women Programs
May 2014: Coffman voted down additional funding for Violence Against Women Programs and sexual assault prevention. [CQ, 5/30/14; Vote #268, 5/30/14]