U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson, representing Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District which covers the western half of the state, has long represented himself as a moderate on both economic and social issues. That makes sense, given that the district went for President Trump over Hillary Clinton by a whopping 30 percentage points in 2016.
One important issue that Peterson has bucked his party on, at least rhetorically, is abortion. Peterson is listed on the website of Democrats for Life, and in the past he’s voted for restrictions on late-term abortions. Yet, recently, he voted to allow taxpayer funding of abortions overseas, which lost him the endorsement of the National Right to Life organization.
Most recently, Peterson has drawn the ire of pro-life groups because he voted for H.J. Res. 79, which would remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), allowing this amendment to move forward. The ERA almost passed in the 1970s, but failed to get the full support it needed.
Today, prolife groups see the attempt to pass the ERA as a blatant attempt to remove state and federal restrictions on abortion, and to provide a constitutional precedent for abortion-on-demand aside from Roe vs. Wade—a case that even many liberal legal thinkers find to be wrongly decided. Already, state-level amendments fashioned like the ERA have been used to expand abortion, and the ERA’s advocates have flat out refused to alter the amendment to explicitly make it abortion-neutral.
According to the Associated Press, “Abortion-rights supporters are eager to nullify the [ERA] deadline and get the amendment ratified so it could be used to overturn state laws restricting abortion.”
While Peterson voted for the measure, pro-life Congressmen Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Tom Emmer (MN-06), and Pete Stauber (MN-08) all voted against the