Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

There are no pro-choice OBGYNs in Congress. These candidates are hoping to change that.

By 37ci3 Jun22,2024


Congress, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Two years after dropping their lawsuit against Wade, two doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology are hoping to bring their expertise and exam room experience to Capitol Hill as they fight for abortion rights.

Dr. Christine Lyerly and Dr. Kelly Morrison is running for Congress for a chance to become OBGYNs, the only supporter of abortion rights on Capitol Hill.

The erosion of abortion rights after the Supreme Court decision in 2022 is part of what motivated Lyerly to run for the Wisconsin House of Representatives, she said in an interview.

“I hear the stories directly from my patients and their families. I don’t think you really understand how it affects people until you’re in the room,” she said.

Dr.  Kristin Lyerly announces her campaign
Dr. Kristin Lyerly recognizes supporters as she is introduced during a campaign announcement on April 4 in Green Bay, Wis.Tork Mason / Green Bay Press-Gazette / USA Today Network

Lyerly has worked as an OBGYN for more than 15 years and provides care in Wisconsin, where she is running for congress in the state’s Eighth District and in neighboring Minnesota. He is running unopposed in the state’s Aug. 13 Democratic primary and will face at least 3 Republican candidates in November. Including Tony Wiedbacked by former President Donald Trump.

He said his practice in Minnesota has not been affected by abortion bans since the decision, but “what I’ve heard from my colleagues in Wisconsin is completely different.” He detailed several stories of colleagues who feared they could go to jail for counseling women to take abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone.

“There’s a chill that accompanies laws like this, it’s confusion and misinformation,” Lyerly said.

Morrison, who ran for Minnesota’s Third District and currently serves in the state legislature, echoed similar sentiments. He is the only candidate in the state’s August 13 Democratic primary. He is likely to face former Minnesota lawmaker and lawyer Tad Jude in November.

“What do OBGYNs and other caregivers anticipate? [abortion] bans and restrictions are affecting people’s health,” said Morrison, who has been practicing OBGYN for more than 20 years, adding, “When I talk to my colleagues in states that have enacted these bans and restrictions, what’s happening in those states is truly horrific. territories.”

Senator Kelly Morrison of Minnesota
Minnesota Sen. Kelly Morrison attends the Women for Biden event in Bloomington on April 19.Sam Woodward / USA Today Network

According to him, these stories are based on the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade has led to work to protect and expand access to reproductive care in Minnesota since its repeal.

Morrison added that if elected, she would “make Roe vs. American women have access and protection.” Will feel a real commitment to work on the effort to code Wade.”

Current OBGYN congressmen support abortion bans

Both women, if elected, would be the only OBGYNs in Congress with abortion rights.

Currently Rep. Michael BurgessR-Texas and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, are the only OBGYNs in Congress, and both are staunchly anti-abortion.

On it congress site“I’m not pro-abortion,” Burgess says, detailing his efforts to ban abortions at three Texas medical facilities.

His office did not respond to clarifying questions about whether Burgess believes there should be exceptions to abortion bans for rape, consanguinity and the life of the mother.

Rep.  Michael Burgess, R-Texas, at the Capitol on June 11, 2024.
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, on Tuesday at the Capitol.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In 2022, shortly after the Supreme Court decision, Marshall supported abortion exceptions for the life of the mother. promises during Senate committee hearings “Without exception, women with miscarriages and extrauterine pregnancies will be treated in every province. The life of the mother will continue with honor.”

However, both Marshall and Burgess supported false or misleading abortion claims.

There’s Burgess she falsely claimed an abortion “may pose a high risk to patient safety.” Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that between 2013 and 2020, .45 deaths occurred for every 100,000 abortions performed. By comparison, in 2020, there were 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Marshall also supported An Act to Protect Unborn Children Capable of Painwhich bans abortion after 20 weeks and claims that the fetus is capable of responding to “stimuli that would be considered painful if applied to an adult, such as withdrawal.”

Senator Roger Marshall speaks
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images file

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists there is dispwas used this claim“science conclusively proves that the human fetus is incapable of feeling pain after at least 24-25 weeks.”

The way home

Although Lyerly has been involved in left-leaning politics in Wisconsin for years, including advocating for new state legislative maps, he first ran for office in 2022. joins the court with two other doctors that the Supreme Court two years ago in Roe v. He tried to overturn the abortion ban in 1849, which came up again after overturning Wade.

District judge then reigned that the 1849 law did not prohibit abortions. This the decision was appealed by the county-level Republican district attorney and has yet to be resolved, although abortion remains legal in the state.

In 2020, Lyerly also ran for a state legislative seat, although he lost that race. It increased by more than 4 percentage points.

Lyerly blamed his loss in that race on “grossly altered” legislative maps from the state Supreme Court. was shot last year. Although state Republicans and Democrat Gov. Tony Evers drew and adopted the new legislative maphis campaign for Congress will also take off.

Dr. Christine Lyerly, right, speaks during a 2022 White House task force meeting on reproductive rights.
Dr. Christine Lyerly, right, speaks during a 2022 White House task force meeting on reproductive rights. Susan Walsh / AP file

Wisconsin’s Eighth District is solidly Republican, located in the northeastern part of the state and including Green Bay, According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.

In 2022, former GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher, who is leaving Congress this April, won more than 70 percent of the vote despite running virtually unopposed without a Democratic opponent. In the 2020 Democratic challenger, Gallagher won with 64 percent of the vote.

Still, Lyerly said he hopes there are enough voters in the district who have voted Republican in the past but might be open to voting Democratic this time around.

Former GOP Rep. Reid Ribble, who represented the district before Gallagher, said the district has an independent streak and said it would be “difficult but doable” for a Democrat to win.

“A moderate, kind and thoughtful person can win, but they have to raise a lot of money and then be authentic in how they run their campaign,” Ribble told NBC News via email. He said the abortion issue in particular could give Democrats a boost.

Moment April Marquette University Law School survey A slim majority of Wisconsin voters — 54% — favor a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks, with certain exceptions.

The same poll found that more than 60% of voters in the state supported the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade opposed the decision to dismiss his case.

Ribble added, “If they get motivated to vote, it could lead to a Democratic congressional candidate winning.”

Still, Republican strategists are confident they can hold on to this seat.

“I don’t think we’re going to see it as a competitive race at all,” a House GOP strategist told NBC News, adding that Lyerly’s campaign “sounds like a pipe dream.”

“With Trump on the ballot, there will be major turnout [high]”, the strategist said, pointing to Trump’s previous strength in this field.

In nearby Minnesota, Morrison expects a clearer path to Congress. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter assesses the state’s Third District race As a “Decided Democrat”. In 2022, Phillips was re-elected with almost 60 percent of the vote.

Minnesota voters overwhelmingly support access to abortion. Last year, 41% of adults in the state said they believed abortion should be legal in most cases, and 26% said the procedure should be legal in all cases. 2023 survey By the Institute for Public Religion Studies.

“I’m not ‘Pollyannaish’ to be able to immediately change things in Congress. Obviously, it’s a pretty dysfunctional institution right now, but I really believe that we need to continue to send people to Washington who believe in the promise of our country and who want government to work,” Morrison said.



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By 37ci3

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