Target: National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions
Goal: Withdraw support from congressional candidate John Koster because of his cavalier and insensitive stance on women’s rights.
John Koster, who is running for a congressional seat in Washington State, has long been known for his conservative views on women’s health. In a recent fundraising appearance, Koster showed us his true colors. When asked if he would oppose abortion even in the case of rape and incest, Koster remarked, “on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?”
These comments caused outrage among supporters of women’s rights. Suzan DelBene, Koster’s opponent in the election, called him “out of touch.” Out of touch is the politically correct way to say it. Many would call Koster’s remarks demeaning. Equating a freely chosen abortion to the violence of rape is essentially saying that women’s bodies need to be protected from their own decisions.
In response to the outrage that followed Koster’s remarks, his campaign manager defended his candidate by highlighting Koster’s tough stance on sex offenders. The republican candidate recently supported new legislation that would sentence two-time sex offenders to life in jail. But this defense holds the same belittling values that offended us in the first place. Tougher sentencing for criminals may (or may not) prevent rape, but that doesn’t mean women who choose abortion are committing violence upon themselves.
Candidates like John Koster need to realize that women are capable of making their own decisions. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, standing up to Koster will say that women are not second-class citizens who need to be protected, even from themselves. By signing the petition below you are stating that you disagree with John Koster’s sexist remarks, and do not support his candidacy for a congressional seat.
Dear National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions,
By maintaining support for individuals like John Koster you are telling women that, not only are they second class citizens, but that they are unable to make their own decisions. Koster’s remarks on rape were cavalier, despite his assurances otherwise. Women make up 50 percent of the population, yet their voices continue to be overshadowed by candidates who do not understand the plight of rape victims. More importantly, these candidates make no effort to educate themselves on the issue.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice is irrelevant. By supporting John Koster you are saying that his comments were acceptable. Referring to rape as, “the rape thing,” and equating abortion to rape is ignorant and belittling.
I urge you to withdraw support from John Koster until he shows a greater acceptance and sensitivity to women and the issues they face.
[Your Name Here]
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