Black Dem accuses GOP rep of racism in abortion remarks

An African-American lawmaker on Friday accused state colleague Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) of making a racially insensitive remark about abortion.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D) took to the House floor to publicly criticize Duffy for what she viewed as condescending remarks, even calling him out by name.

“After nearly 30 years in public office, not much surprises me anymore,” she said. “So you can imagine my lack of astonishment when my dear friend and colleague from Wisconsin, Sean Duffy, rolled out abortion statistics among African-American women to lecture black legislators like me about defending the welfare of our constituents.”

{mosads}On Thursday night, Duffy during a House floor speech cited statistics showing high abortion rates in African-American populations and suggested black lawmakers aren’t doing enough to reduce them.

“I hear a lot in this institution from minority leaders about how their communities are targeted,” Duffy said, offering the Black Lives Matter movement’s efforts to draw attention to police violence against blacks as an example. “But what I don’t hear them talk about is how their communities are targeted in abortion.”

“My liberal friends, Congressional Black Caucus members, talk about fighting for the defenseless, the hopeless, and the downtrodden. There is no one more hopeless and voiceless than an unborn baby, but their silence is deafening. I can’t hear them. Where are they standing up for their communities, advocating and fighting for their right to life?” he said.

Moore suggested that the conclusions made by Duffy, who is white, stemmed from ignorance about what black communities face.

“I don’t expect Rep. Duffy to understand why his comments are offensive,” Moore said.

“What he and so many of his Republican colleagues fail to acknowledge is the underlying context behind high abortion rates in African-American communities. High rates of abortion are related to poverty and lack of access to quality care.”

Moore argued Duffy and other Republicans should focus instead on providing more assistance to black communities to reduce poverty and increase access to healthcare.

“Rep. Duffy’s hypocrisy on this issue is as predictable as it is offensive. If he truly, truly wants to fight for the hopeless and voiceless, he should join us,” Moore said before being cut off by Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who was presiding over House proceedings, after her allotted time expired. 

As Moore departed the House chamber, Brat noted that House rules forbid members from engaging in personal attacks. Moore did not stop or look back.

Duffy’s office did not have an immediate response.

Tags Abortion David Brat Gwen Moore Sean Duffy

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