Someone messaged me yesterday and asked me to write this diary. She said, "We need a screamer on this, and I'm confident you'll know what to do. The issue is abortion."
(And no, I'm not getting paid for this. Why, you got some money for me, baby?)
If there is one thing I'm passionate about in the Democratic Party Platform, it's a woman's effing right to choose.
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.Which is why I think Dr. Manan Trivedi has the goods in PA-06, over Democratic establishment candidate Doug Pike, in Tuesday's primary.
The walk-back on abortion rights in America began recently, of course, with the wince-worthy language inserted into the HIR bill, a fight waged by Democrat Bart Stupak and Republican Joe Pitts, with concessions made under Democratic approval. Abortion rights, and the health of all women, have also suffered some truly jaw-dropping blows lately in the states of Utah, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
This is a very, very troubling trend, to say the least. We do not need any more anti-choice Democrats, thank you very much, and last week's loss of Connie Saltonstall in the race for MI-01, and Ms. Saltonstall's reason for dropping her campaign, was quite upsetting:
"I am forced to do this because it has become apparent to my campaign that the leadership of the Michigan Democratic Party has preemptively anointed Gary McDowell as their Democratic candidate," Saltonstall said. "They are replacing Bart Stupak with another Upper Peninsula, anti-choice, anti-women's health-care rights candidate."NOT OK, PEOPLE! Where's the Bat Phone?! I need me one of those.
Although I clearly don't live in Pennsylvania, I'm invested in the PA-06 primary because of the stakes involved here. In the fight for the Democratic candidacy, former journalist and virtual shoo-in Doug Pike lobbed a strange and unnecessary insult at his Democratic opponent, Manan Trivedi, in December. In an op-ed, Pike claimed:
“I’m running for Congress because we need more and better Democrats in Washington. This is particularly important in my race, because I am currently the only publicly pro-choice candidate, Democrat or Republican, running to represent the people of Pennsylvania’s 6th District. This is incredibly alarming given current events that seek to chip away at a woman’s right to choose.”As could be expected, Dr. Trivedi took slight exception to this statement, and made himself crystal clear on the issue:
“First we have the Doug Pike that endorses abortion ‘zealots’ and then we have the Doug Pike who boasts wildly that he is the lone public supporter of abortion rights,” Trivedi spokesman Daren Berringer said in a statement. “While we don’t pretend to understand where Doug Pike really stands on this issue, two things are true: Doug Pike will write or say anything to get the public’s attention, and Manan Trivedi is pro-choice.”Doug Pike has most definitely flip-flopped on abortion when it suits him. Kate Michelman, the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has backed candidate Trivedi and, regarding Pike, Michelman says this:
“Whether Pike says he’s pro-choice or not,” Michelman told Politico, “I as a woman would not trust that he understands and respects the fundamental rights of women in a way that will result in his standing for and protecting those rights.”So, yeah. I have some issues with Doug Pike.
She was referring in part a 1988 column in The Inquirer in which Pike said the abortion rate should “turn the stomachs” of those who supported the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, as well as his 1990 column supporting the reelection of state Representative who he also called a “zealous opponent of abortion.” She also cited two articles Pike wrote for The Orlando Sentinel in the 1980s, including one in which he said that the “best looking women ... tend not to identify with have-nots. ... Why are women who look like models virtually incapable of developing the compassionate liberalism of, say, stubby Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland?”
In addition to receiving Michelman's endorsement, Dr. Trivedi has received the blessing of NOW:
Trivedi was endorsed by the National Organization for Women’s political action committee, a powerful force in Democratic politics. “Manan Trivedi has demonstrated to us that he will stand up for the full equality of girls and women,” the group’s chair Terry O’Neill said in a statement. “We are looking forward to joining forces with him in that pursuit.”So, yeah. Trivedi's pretty cool. In case you know nothing about the dude, Dr. Trivedi's parents were immigrants from India, and Manan himself was born in Pennsylvania. His folks worked at an apple juice plant and Manan graduated from public high school. He has won awards for his work with HIV/AIDS patients, and Manan chose to do his residency at a hospital that helped mostly uninsured and poor patients. Lt. Commander Trivedi also enlisted in the military and supervised the medical team during the first 3 months of our invasion of Iraq. Like all true overachievers, Manan also has a master's degree in Public Policy, has researched the mental health affects of soldiers who were in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was the campaign health care policy adviser for one Barack H. Obama.
Plus, he likes to kayak.
Fare thee well, pro-choice Trivedi dude! Kick ass on Tuesday, yo!