A former state representative who was the DFL’s endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018 compared pro-life lawmakers to slave owners and said they are “in the same group” as the “right-wing extremists” who attacked the U.S. Capitol last month.
House Democrats recently introduced a bill called the Protect Reproductive Options Act, which would grant Minnesotans the “fundamental right” to obtain an abortion.
“In response to that, anti-abortion legislators, including Sens. [Julia] Coleman and [Michelle] Benson, have started to elevate incredibly dangerous, inflammatory rhetoric around pregnancy care, in particular pregnancy care that Minnesotans access when they have abortions later in pregnancy,” Erin Maye Quade said during a livestream Thursday night on UnRestrict Minnesota’s Instagram page.
Maye Quade won the DFL’s endorsement for lieutenant governor in 2018, but she and state Sen. Erin Murphy went on to lose in the primary to the unendorsed Walz/Flanagan ticket. She now serves as the advocacy director for Gender Justice and the campaign manager for UnRestrict Minnesota, a pro-abortion group.
“This is a common smokescreen that anti-abortion lawmakers in particular pull out. They want to distract from their actual agenda, which is to use the government to force people to remain pregnant and give birth, and to use the government to control the reproductive health care decisions that Minnesotans make. And that in and of itself is offensive and dangerous, right? Like that is terrible,” Maye Quade continued.
She then said pro-life legislators are like slave owners who forced women to reproduce so that their children could be used as slave labor.
“There is a worldwide reckoning on racial injustice. We are in the middle of black history month and right now there are anti-abortion politicians that are pushing an idea that is so rooted in slavery, right? In enslavement, right? That there are some people who should control the reproductive rights of people, right? Slavery continued, labor camps continued because enslavers forced black women to give birth to children that they stole and trafficked, right? And so, this is very much, this agenda to control the reproduction of Minnesotans is in line with that,” she said.
Throughout the roughly 12-minute livestream, Maye Quade repeatedly accused Republican senators of using “inflammatory,” “dangerous,” and “violent” rhetoric.
“We shouldn’t be surprised then that anti-abortion extremists and right-wing extremists are part of the same group. We saw on the Jan. 6 insurrection known anti-abortion leaders were there. There was a clinic bomber, right? A convicted clinic bomber was among the extremists. This is coming when senators and anti-abortion lawmakers use language that is so inflammatory and it is so dangerous. Like they know what they are doing and it is a call to violence for anti-abortion extremists,” she continued.
Maye Quade went on to read a few sections of the bill in question, calling it “common-sense stuff,” but neglected to mention one of the more provocative aspects of the proposal. Sen. Coleman specifically objected to the bill’s use of this language: “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state.”
“The only way that anti-abortion lawmakers can gin up controversy about a bill that I’m pretty sure like 90% of Minnesotans support is to lie about what it does and then use the most dangerous, inflammatory language that they can possibly do,” said Maye Quade, who later claimed that “like 74% of Minnesotans agree.”
At one point during the stream, she invoked Tuesday’s shooting in Buffalo, Minnesota, to criticize her political opponents.
“So the fact that anti-abortion lawmakers, who are calling to extremists who have taken up that mantle, who have taken that really violent like radical language and done something about it when we have had a shooting in a clinic in our state this week is just incredibly horrifying,” she said.
Thus far, authorities have said they have no reason to believe the Buffalo shooting was an act of domestic terrorism and a source told Fox 9 that the suspect “didn’t like the doctors because they wouldn’t give him all the pain killers he wanted.”
Maye Quade said pro-life Minnesotans are willing to “use every means necessary to take our rights away,” including “violence,” “intimidation, “the law,” and “coercion.”
“It’s not up for debate anymore. Like, we’re done. Let’s be done, OK? Let’s just be done with this,” she concluded. “This is not a debate. It’s settled. Minnesotans agree. The Constitution agrees.”