The National Republican Congressional Committee has no plans to cancel an ad reservation supporting Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.), despite remarks made Thursday night that pregnancy never threatens the health or life of a woman.
“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a woman’s life being endangered by pregnancy, Walsh said after a debate with his opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. “There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”
A spokeswoman for the NRCC, which has committed more than $450,000 for cable ads in the Chicagoland area, said the group will not cancel its buy through the election.
“We will continue to hold Tammy Duckworth accountable for cheating on her taxes while accepting millions in special interest cash. That’s what our ad accomplishes, and it will remain on the air through Election Day,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said.
Walsh is staunchly anti-abortion rights and has stated publicly and repeatedly that he does not believe abortion should be legal, even in cases of incest or rape.
Women’s groups have jumped on Walsh’s remarks as too extreme for Illinois’ 8th district and as a knock on national Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund released a statement this morning in light of the remarks in Thursday night’s debate.
“Joe Walsh’s ignorance about women’s health is alarming. It is deeply troubling that he and some politicians have such a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health. As the advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers, we know that ending a pregnancy can often be a very complex, personal decision and that there are absolutely times that a woman’s life depends on it,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said. “If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected, these ignorant statements will be more than words – they would become law. Joe Walsh and the Tea Party Congress are ready to completely ban abortion, and Mitt Romney has said that he ‘would be delighted’ to sign an abortion ban into law. The Romney/Ryan ticket has promised that they would put women’s personal medical decisions in the hands of politicians like Joe Walsh and Todd Akin.”
Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.