Entries in Tammy Duckworth (2)


Rep. Joe Walsh Walks Back Abortion-Without-Exception Comment

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- The campaign of Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., on Friday walked back the congressman’s assertion at a debate that medical developments have made it unnecessary for abortion laws to make an exception to protect the life of the mother.

During a debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth on Thursday, Walsh had declared that he was “pro-life without exception,” and said that due to medical advancements, there were no instances in which abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother.

Walsh clarified those comments in a long written statement to the news media Friday afternoon.

“Let me very clear [sic] that when I say I am pro-life, I mean that I am pro-life for the mother and I am pro-life for the unborn child.  For me, there is no distinction between the two,” Walsh said.

But Walsh said he supports a woman’s right to have an abortion in the “very rare” case where “both mother and baby will die if the baby is not aborted.”

As he went on, Walsh seemed to contradict himself.

“While, I do not support abortion, I do of course support medical procedures for women during their pregnancies that might result in the loss of the unborn child.  When such an occurrence takes place, that decision on whether to perform that procedure is a very difficult one and one that should be left up to the mother and her family,” Walsh wrote.

An abortion is generally considered to be a medical procedure that results in the loss of the unborn child.

Duckworth explained her own views on abortion in a statement put out by her campaign Friday.

“I fully support a woman’s right to control her own body,” Duckworth wrote. “I do not support any further restrictions beyond the framework established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey on a woman’s right to choose or her access to safe, affordable reproductive health services. I trust that women will make the right decisions for themselves and their families in consultation with their own medical and religious advisers. I believe that all Americans are afforded a right to privacy and the right to make personal decisions about their health care without coercion.”

Walsh sought to divert attention to Duckworth for comments she made over the summer about sexual assault in the military. Duckworth is the first female double amputee Iraqi war veteran.

“When asked earlier this summer about sexual abuse in the military and her personal experience with it, My opponents [sic] response was, and I quote,  that I was never sexually assaulted because I was a pretty tough chick, and not some weak 18 year old who couldn’t push back.  As a father of two daughters, I found those comments every bit as offensive as Congressman Akin’s offensive comments on rape,” Walsh wrote. “Ms Duckworth’s [sic] comments could not be more offensive and yet they were not covered.  How dare Ms. Duckworth imply that women are only raped because they are too weak to fight back, and if only they were just a little tougher rape would not occur?  How dare she say that?”

The remarks Walsh referred to come from an interview Duckworth did with BuzzFeed’s Anna North, posted July 19. Here is that portion of the interview:

    The documentary The Invisible War has a lot of people talking about sexual assault in the military. What’s your take on this issue?

    TD: It is absolutely unacceptable that there is sexual assault in the military. We should remember it occurs not just with female service members but with males as well. It’s unacceptable and we need more oversight. I think the military is trying hard, but until you have more female high-ranking officers, you’re going to have some issues. I never experienced sexual assault, but I was a pretty tough chick officer, and if anything I was there for lower enlisted females to come to. I wasn’t a scared 18 year old who couldn’t push back. A lot of this stuff is about power. It’s power relationships. The military needs to redouble its efforts, and there should be congressional oversight. And women need to become a bigger percentage of the military -- I think as we do, things will get better.

    Did other women ever come to you to report assault?

    TD: I was usually the only woman in an all-male unit, but sometimes we would get women reporting issues of discrimination. But usually I was the only woman so it didn’t happen that much.

The rest of Walsh’s statement can be found here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Joe Walsh: Iraq War Vet Opponent Talks Too Much to Be ‘True’ Hero

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Joe Walsh’s Facebook page is flooded with negative comments after the Illinois Republican said Tuesday that his opponent, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, was not a “true” hero because she often makes reference to her military service on the campaign trail.

Duckworth lost both her legs after an RPG attack in Iraq brought down the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting in 2004.

Walsh has not served in the military.

“My God, that’s all she talks about,” Walsh said of Duckworth’s military career in a video recorded at Walsh’s town hall speech Sunday and posted by Think Progress. “Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, my God, that’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we are so indebted and in awe of what they have done.”

Duckworth’s campaign bio is almost entirely dedicated to her military career. She is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

“Congressman Walsh’s comments insult those who sacrificed to make this country free,” Duckworth’s campaign manager Kaitlin Fahey said in a statement. “Tammy is proud of her over twenty years of service with the Army and her family’s legacy of fighting for this country.”

In a statement Tuesday, Walsh insisted that he was not implying that Duckworth is not a hero, but instead criticizing her for speaking only about her military service and not about her policies.

“Of course Tammy Duckworth is a hero. I have called her a hero 100′s of times in the past four months,” Walsh said. “However, unlike most veterans I have had the honor to meet since my election to Congress, who rarely if ever talk about their service or the combat they’ve seen, that is darn near all of what Tammy Duckworth talks about.

“We are about four months from Election Day and the people of Illinois have no idea where Tammy Duckworth stands on these issues,” he said.

Emily’s List, a group devoted to electing women to Congress, launched a petition against Walsh over his comments Tuesday, saying “if Tammy Duckworth isn’t a hero, then there are no heroes in this world,”

“Tomorrow is a day for all Americans to honor the men and women who fought for our country’s independence. But instead, Joe Walsh is questioning Tammy’s service and sacrifice to this nation,” the group’s executive director, Amy Dacey, wrote in an email to supporters. “I am so completely outraged about this, and I am sure you are too.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio