Congressman Joe Walsh hit a new low this week when he attacked Sandra Fluke for testifying before Congress on access to affordable birth control. He said, “Think about this, a 31-32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives.’ You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job, Sandra Fluke.”
Rep. Walsh’s attacks were wrong and demeaning. Sandra Fluke is a young woman who stood up for a friend who lost an ovary when she couldn’t afford the very expensive contraception she needed to treat her polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is disappointing to see a sitting Member of Congress attack a young woman who was so brave to come forward. Walsh also issued a blatant falsehood when he accused Fluke of being “a student for life.” America is fortunate to have Ms Fluke, a smart and courageous woman, studying law.
If Walsh is truly concerned about the families in his district who are struggling financially, then he should support policies that make it easier for women to afford the medication they need.
Sadly, these aren’t the only sexist comments Walsh has made this week. He also made a misogynistic accusation about his opponent, Tammy Duckworth this week, saying, “The only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.”
I worked with Tammy Duckworth when she directed the State of Illinois Veterans Affairs. I watched her tirelessly look out for Illinois military families. She too is a smart and courageous woman, and America will be fortunate to have her serve as Congresswoman.
Residents of Illinois’ 8th District deserve a representative who respects women and their choices. They deserve better than Joe Walsh.
—Jill Morgenthaler, Retired Army Colonel, Co-President, Illinois Democratic Women