Dold, Schakowsky Spar on Women's Health
Evanston Congresswoman calls Dold’s recent proposal on women’s health a political ploy. He accuses her of partisanship.
(Updated on Oct. 27 at 5 a.m.) Editor’s Note—When the original article below was written, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) was commenting on Rep. Robert Dold’s (R-Kenilworth) legislation to protect women’s health which is supported by Planned Parenthood. It prevents discrimination against health care providers who try to limit measures available to women.
Though Dold’s Democratic challenger, Brad Schneider of Deerfield, was present when Schakowsky made her statements, Patch did not report what he had to say. Schneider says he is strongly favors a woman’s right to choose.
“I am 100 percent pro-choice,” Schneider said in a debate on Fox News Oct. 21. “I believe the woman should have the choice on her body, we need to have her in control of her health decisions with her doctor, there shouldn’t be government intervention between her and her doctor.”
(Earlier on May 16 at 5:30 a.m.) Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) accused Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) Tuesday of introducing legislation merely to cast himself as a political moderate, while Dold replied Schakowsky is unwilling to act in a bipartisan fashion.
Schakowsky made her remarks during a telephone news conference Tuesday with Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider, Dold’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, to explain why Dold’s record on women’s issues is unsatisfactory.
Schakowsky was particularly critical of a bill Dold introduced last week prohibiting discrimination against health care providers participating in certain government programs from excluding services like contraception from coverage as part of the 40-year-old Title X program.
“If (Dold’s bill) were real, absolutely I would support it,” Schakowsky said. “It has no chance of going anywhere. We’ll see if the leadership in the House will let it go anywhere. Does the Republican leadership want a bill that nearly every Republican will vote against?”
Dold was pleased to hear Schakowsky favored his idea but critical of her unwillingness and that of her Democratic colleagues to work in a more bipartisan fashion.
“As a pro choice Republican I will do what I can to pass this bill,” Dold said. “People are unhappy with Washington because Republicans and Democrats are not working together to get something done.”
Schakowsky considers Dold’s bill on Title X as well as his support for other measures political expediency to court favor in the moderate 10th District. In March, Dold voted for the Cooper-LaTourette budget alternative to the proposal favored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
“Of course,” Schakowsky said of her perception of Dold’s motives. “LaTourette is from a district much like the 10th. Their leadership lets them do this for their district. The (10th) District is the most Democratic held by a Republican.”
Dold said he thinks Schakowsky’s criticism is political as well. “This was the first bipartisan budget proposed in the House in years,” he said. “People here want thoughtful, independent leadership. Why does she not support it?”
During the news conference, Schakowsky listed a number of votes Dold has made since taking office that she believes do not show the North Shore Congressman as truly pro choice. She mentioned legislation to prohibit abortion in the District of Columbia, denying the use of federal funds for abortion even if a women’s life is at stake and defunding Planned Parenthood.
“He voted for a continuing resolution that would have defended Planned Parenthood,” Schakowsky said. “There is a time when you have to stand up for your principles. Do you want a 30 percenter or a 100 percenter,” she added comparing Dold and Schneider on issues concerning women’s health.
Schakowsky was referring votes cast just over a year ago when Dold supported an amendment to the continuing resolution to keep funding the federal government to maintain money for Planned Parenthood. When it failed, he voted for the resolution with the provision he opposed.
“I was the only Republican to speak on the House floor in favor of Planned Parenthood,” Dold said. “I voted to keep the government running. I voted to pay our troops and for seniors to get their social security checks.”