For Immediate Release


Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

National Organization for Women (NOW)

Should Women Who have Abortions Be Compared to Rapists? . . . Rep. Peter Roskam Thinks So

WASHINGTON - Recently, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) of Illinois' 6th Congressional District asked a journalist in an interview why women can have abortions if rapists cannot be executed.

This bizarre comment was made by Roskam, an Illinois Republican, during an interview for a recent profile piece in the Pioneer Press, a suburban Chicago daily publication. The newspaper asked a series of questions of both Roskam and his opponent, Jill Morgenthaler, who is endorsed by the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC). Roskam made his comment when the interviewer asked about values. The Pioneer Press reported the exchange: "Citing the late Congressman Henry Hyde, who represented the 6th District for 16 terms until 2006, Roskam said people cannot be categorized by the way in which they were conceived and [Roskam] asked in the Pioneer Press interview why women can have abortions if rapists cannot be executed."


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Roskam has a history of opposing a woman's reproductive rights, even in the case of rape or incest. Roskam is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4157, the Sanctity of Human Life Act. This bill would dictate that human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, at which time every human has all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood. Passage would therefore give a fertilized egg, viable or not, full legal protection and would effectively outlaw in vitro fertilization, abortion, and many common forms of contraception, including the IUD and the birth control pill.

"Illinois' 6th district has a long history of being represented by anti-woman voices in Congress. Peter Roskam's inappropriate comparison, along with his co-sponsorship of legislation that is dangerous to women's health, is exactly why we need Jill Morgenthaler in Congress. NOW PAC endorsed Jill Morgenthaler because we know that she will fight to protect women's rights," said NOW PAC Chair and NOW President, Kim Gandy.


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