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“Worst for Women” list shames Congress members who don’t support women’s rights

Worstforwomen News 8 10 18
Two members of Congress who are on the "Worst for Women" list.

Something called the “Worst for Women” campaign launched Tuesday. It points fingers at 15 sitting members of Congress for their dubious track record on women’s rights. Two political actions committees (PACs)— progressive group American Bridge and feminist organization UltraViolet—have launched the effort in the run-up to the November 2018 midterm elections. 

In order to produce the list, the two PACs conducted an analysis of voting records from the current and previous Congress, including by examining who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund Planned Parenthood, move forward with the Republican tax plan, and implement an abortion ban after 20 weeks. Other facets of the elected officials’ records, including sexist comments, were also considered.

“If you are a member of Congress putting women’s rights, livelihoods, and actual lives at risk—start making plans for a long vacation after election day, because your political career ends in November,” said the president and cofounder of American Bridge, Bradley Beychok, in a statement. 

The “Worst for Women” list includes 14 men. Two senators are on the list, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Dean Heller, R-Nev., in addition to some well-known conservative members of the House. Rep. Steve King, R- Iowa, made the cut; in October 2017, King introduced legislation to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which typically occurs after six weeks’ gestation. Another high-profile person on the list is Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn, who recently came under fire for misogynistic comments he made on his former radio program. 

Only one woman made the list, Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga. In 2012, Handel resigned from her senior vice president post at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation after it was revealed she had played a key role in persuading Komen’s board to cut funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. She has expressed vocal opposition to a living wage, voted to repeal Obamacare, and supported the 2017 Republican tax cuts. When asked in 2010 why she opposes same-sex marriage, the congresswoman laughed and replied, “Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Are you serious?”

Don Bacon (R-Neb.), is also on the list. According to the “Worst for Women” analysis, Bacon has voted in line with Donald Trump 98 percent of the time. He’s facing off against a woman this fall in what is expected to be one of the most competitive races of the year. His challenger, Kara Eastman, was the unexpected winner of the district’s May primary—after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee threw its weight behind a male and far less progressive candidate. Eastman supports overturning Citizens United, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and Medicare for all. 

The “Worst for Women” list may prove to be especially useful for voters at time when more women have won party nominations for governorships and House seats than ever before. “Women are poised to play a key role in November,” said Shaunna Thomas, UltraViolet’sexecutive director. “We don’t intend to let that opportunity slip by.”

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