New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced yesterday that she is in the race for governor and it is no secret that Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee is not her fan.
It has been five years since Stewart said that “as a Catholic and a Republican” she was “proud” to cast the deciding vote allowing abortion giant Planned Parenthood to provide contraception in New Britain’s public schools. Given that she recently told the press she would not be running mate to a “right winger” (which is New England Republican-speak for pro-lifer) and that she kicked off her campaign by emphasizing her pro-abortion (“pro-choice”) position, it is unlikely that Stewart has had any second thoughts about giving the nation’s largest abortion provider greater access to Connecticut’s children these last five years.
And yet it is Stewart herself who says “I’m not going to be put in a box” and The Courant describes her as having “moderate-to-progressive social views” [emphasis added].
So, how is Stewart not in the progressive box on the life issues? What is “moderate” about Stewart’s views on the sanctity of human life?
We do not ask this rhetorically, sarcastically, or for “gotcha” purposes. We are genuinely curious as to what common ground, if any, may exist between Stewart and those social conservative voters whose support she seems to think she can do without.
And so we publicly put these four questions to Mayor Stewart:
1) Connecticut is one of only a handful of states in the entire nation that does not require a minor child to at least notify her parents before obtaining abortion. Rhode Island and Massachusetts have parental consent laws while in Connecticut a child cannot get a tattoo or be given an aspirin at school without her parents’ permission but she can obtain an abortion without their knowledge. Even though you are pro-choice, would you at least support a parental notification law in Connecticut?
2) Connecticut has repeatedly said no to the legalization of assisted suicide, with the bill not even making it out of committee despite receiving a public hearing three years in a row. The bill failed for bipartisan reasons, with many progressives, Democrats and even Gov. Malloy refusing to support it. Even though you are pro-choice, would you at least oppose an assisted suicide law in Connecticut?
3) When you cast that vote for Planned Parenthood to provide contraception at New Britain High School, you said you were fine with it as long as Planned Parenthood picks up the tab. The State of Connecticut gave Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) about $3 million in 2015-16 (the last year for which information is available) and, coincidentally, PPSNE ended the year with about a $3 million surplus. Details on the wealth of PPSNE are here. Given your stated position as a fiscal conservative and PPSNE’s large resources, even though you are pro-choice would you at least defund Planned Parenthood in the Connecticut State Budget?
4) No one, not even those of us who care most about ending abortion, expects abortion to be a leading issue in the 2018 campaign for Governor of Connecticut or asks candidates to emphasize those issues. In Connecticut politics, abortion is typically brought up only by pro-abortion Democrats as a wedge issue. The closest most Connecticut Republicans come to showing empathy for unborn life is when they react to questions on abortion by crawling into a fetal position. Even if you answer yes to questions 1-3, would you at least defend these positions when asked, instead of following previous Republican candidates by reacting like a deer in the headlights?
None of the above is a litmus test, Mayor Stewart. It’s a throw-us-a-bone test. Can you at least do that?