Democrat Chris Murphy enlisted the help of Planned Parenthood Tuesday in an all-out retention effort targeted at women voters.
In a joint conference call with Murphy, who an Oct. 4 Quinnipiac University poll showed clinging to a six-point lead over Republican Senate foe Linda McMahon among likely female voters, the organization’s national political director told members of the media that a McMahon victory would enable right wingers to strip away the reproductive rights of women.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Amy Taylor said Republicans could take control of the Senate if McMahon prevails against Murphy, who she said fought against efforts by the House GOP caucus to strip funding from the organization and opposed the Blunt Amendment, a failed measure that would have allowed all employers to opt out of providing birth control as part of their health care plans.
McMahon has said she would have voted for the Blunt Amendment and has called a government mandate that employers cover contraception, including Catholic institutions, an overreach.
“We know that Linda McMahon would have stood against women in this country,” Taylor said. “There’s so much at stake for women in this election and there really is a clear contrast between Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy.”
The position of McMahon, who lost the female vote by 20 points two years when she was defeated by Democrat Richard Blumenthal for the Senate, is that abortions should be “safe and legal and rare,” echoing President Clinton at the 1996 Democratic National Convention.
Murphy challenged McMahon’s pro-choice credentials, saying she has been endorsed by Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, who has been quoted as saying that a McMahon victory could portend the end of Roe v. Wade.
“She may pretend to be pro-choice but she’s not,” Murphy told members of the media on the call. “She would empower right wing Republicans in Washington, who would stop at nothing to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
McMahon campaign spokesman Todd Abrajano charged Murphy with lying.
“Linda McMahon has been very clear in this campaign. She is a pro-choice candidate,” Abrajano said. “As a former CEO of a publicly-traded company, she provided health insurance to her employees that covered contraception, mammograms, and nothing would change with respect to that record if she were a member of the United States Senate. Congressman Murphy and his Washington allies need to stop lying about Linda McMahon’s position on these issues. It’s becomingly increasingly desperate for him to continue to do so.”