Rob Wittman is squarely on the side of those who want to take away a woman’s right to choose her medical care, even under life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, Wittman wants to criminalize same-gender and inter-racial marriage as well as criminalizing the use of contraceptive medications and devices.
Don’t believe it? Read on.
Over the last couple of weeks in July, Rob Wittman and every other Republican in the House voted against these bills:
Women’s Health Protection Act: Making it legal for a woman to leave a state that bans abortion and go to another state for an abortion.
Ensuring Access to Abortion Act: Making abortion a federal right.
Right to Contraception Act: Making all forms of contraception legal.
Respect for Marriage Act: Making all marriages legal in all states regardless of gender, race, or other characteristics of the couple.
Why does Wittman’s vote on these bills matter? First, let’s review some Supreme Court decisions.
Loving v. Virginia, 1967. Throughout our history interracial marriage has been generally frowned upon. In several states, mostly Southern and including Virginia, interracial marriage was banned by law. Mildred Loving (a mixed-race Black and Native American) and her white husband Richard were residents of Caroline County. They were married in DC, 1958, because they could not be married in Virginia. When they returned home to Caroline County, they were arrested for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. Because they were constantly harassed and arrested when they returned from DC to visit family in Caroline County, Mildred wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy for help. Kennedy referred them to the ACLU, who sued on behalf of the Lovings. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that state laws banning interracial marriage violated the 14th Amendments equal protection clause.
Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965. For many years, contraception was a somewhat contentious subject: Not openly discussed; doctors were careful when advising patients; contraceptive devices were not displayed on the aisles of pharmacies; and the like. Griswold v. Connecticut originated as a prosecution under the Connecticut Comstock Act of 1873. The law made it illegal to use “any drug, medicinal article, or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception…”. Planned Parenthood operated a clinic in Connecticut; Estelle Griswold was the director and a doctor named Buxton was the clinic’s medical volunteer. A week or so after the clinic opened, Griswold and Buxton were arrested and fined $100 each for violating Connecticut law. The case was appealed eventually to the Supreme Court, resulting in a decision overturning such laws nationwide. The Court held that the U.S. Constitution protects “marital privacy” as a fundamental constitutional right, but it struggled to identify a particular source for the right in the Constitution’s text.
Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015. This is a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 5–4 ruling required all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Insular Areas to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities. Prior to Obergefell, same-sex marriage had already been established by statute, court ruling, or voter initiative in thirty-six states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.
Roe v. Wade, 1973. We all know about this.
Now, consider this: In writing in support of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas made several comments suggesting that the Court may well take up challenges to other “rights” that were not part of the original Constitution. While he cloaked his comment in legal argumentation, Thomas made it clear that he was aiming at decisions that created a right not in the original Constitution — such as right to abortion, right to contraception, right to marry whom you wish. Just as the Court overturned Roe, essentially making abortion illegal, so they could by similar arguments overturn Obergefell, Loving, and Griswold.
Now, before you scoff and tell me the Court will never overturn Loving or Griswold, remember: That’s the same thing we said about Roe.
Thus, when Democrats passed these four bills that were opposed 100% by House Republicans, they were attempting to write into law the rights granted by Supreme Court decisions so that these rights could not be abolished by Supreme Court decisions.
Women’s Health Protection Act will codify the right of a woman to leave a state that bans abortion and go to another state for an abortion.
Ensuring Access to Abortion Act will codify Roe v. Wade.
Right to Contraception Act will codify Griswold, making contraception legal. Remember: The same people who worked to overturn Roe, also claim that certain forms of contraception – birth control pills – are “abortificants” that cause abortions and as such should be outlawed.
Finally, the Respect for Marriage Act will codify Loving and Obergefell, making same-gender and inter-racial marriage legal.
WITTMAN’S VOTES AGAINST THESE FOUR BILLS MAKE IT CLEAR THAT HE IS ON THE SIDE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO OUTLAW CONTRACEPTION, PROHOBIT CROSSING STATE LINES TO GET AN ABORTION, AND BAN INTERRACIAL AND SAME-GENDER MARRIAGE.
Rob Wittman comes across as an “Aw, shucks, I’m just a good old boy from Westmoreland County.” He is not. He is a hardcore radical rightwinger, a 100% Trump supporter, a pawn of the Christian Nationalists who wants to stick his nose into everyone’s most private business.