Eighth District of Illinois Women's Health Face-Off: Lt. Colonel Tammy Duckworth vs. Rep. Joe Walsh
With only eight weeks left until Election Day, we’re introducing a new series of posts called “The Face-Off”. Voters will be faced with a choice when they head to the polls, and that’s why we’re working to make sure they know where the candidates stand on women’s health issues.
Our first face-off features the Eighth District of Illinois, where voters can choose to vote for a women’s health champion or an out-of-touch politician.
Here’s what you need to know about the two candidates:
Rep. Joe Walsh
First elected to Congress in 2010, Walsh has done everything he can to limit and restrict women’s access to affordable health care. Not only did he argue against the new birth control benefit and call it “un-American,” he promised to shut down the government if the Affordable Care Act was not repealed. Solutions are clearly not his forte. When asked what would happen to the nearly 50 million uninsured Americans who need health care, Walsh said it was “not a huge number” and young people “don’t need it.”
Most recently, Walsh has been in the news for commenting on the backlash against Rep. Todd Akin, saying he was “bothered by this rush and silence of members of our own party to stand up for him.” Only a few days later, he went on to criticize Duckworth and Sandra Fluke’s speaking roles at the Democratic National Convention, saying “the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech," and telling a crowd at a campaign event that Sandra Fluke, who fought for affordable access to birth control, should “go get a job.”
Lt. Colonel Tammy Duckworth
Having served in our military and fought for our country’s freedom, Lt. Colonel Tammy Duckworth deserves our respect. During her time as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Iraq War she lost both of her legs, only to return to the United States and serve in the Department of Veteran Affairs. She knows how important affordable access to health care can be, and when the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the law, Duckworth spoke out, saying “The ruling today is a victory for children with preexisting conditions who can't be denied coverage, women who can't be charged a higher premium, seniors who won't suddenly find themselves without coverage, and young adults who will be covered under their parents until they are 26…”
While speaking at a recent Planned Parenthood Action Fund event, Duckworth truly proved that she understands how important this election is for women’s health. Her remarks, made without notes, were impressive.
Winner: There is no comparison — Rep. Joe Walsh is as out of touch as politicians come, supporting extreme and dangerous policies that would turn back the clock on women’s health and rights, and betraying ignorance about how much certain Americans need better access to care. If defending Todd Akin wasn’t enough to put him over the top, we don’t know what is. In contrast, Duckworth understands how important it is to protect our freedom and our rights — that’s why she served in the military and that’s why she’s working to serve the people of Illinois’ Eighth District. Lt. Colonel Tammy Duckworth is a true women’s health champion and hands down the winner of this face-off.