Sunday, September 2, 2012

VIDEO: Roscoe Bartlett Says Not Many Abortions Caused by Rape & Incest // PLUS: Sierra Club & LCV Defend John Delaney

REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT'S VIEWS ON ABORTION UNDER SCRUTINY: Recently, GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has been bogged down in controversy surrounding his views on abortion. After Missouri's Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin became a national laughing-stock for suggesting that "legitimate rape" (whatever that is) did not usually cause pregnancy, pundits started examining the records of GOP candidates nationwide. Bartlett, locked in a tight race to maintain his 6th Congressional District seat, faced criticism from Democratic circles for co-sponsoring draconian anti-choice legislation with Rep. Akin. The Frederick News-Post covered the controversy and highlighted how Bartlett, though anti-choice, now believes that there should be exceptions for rape and incest. Some are suggesting this is a flip-flop (excerpt below):

FREDERICK NEWS-POST: ...Though he repeatedly has backed laws and resolutions that define life as beginning at conception, Bartlett, R-6th, said he never considered these actions incompatible with his support for the three abortion ban exceptions. Signing on to such legislation simply underscored what, in a Thursday night town hall meeting, the 10-term congressman termed his "reverence for life."

The topics of abortion and rape have fired up rhetoric in the 6th District race, where Bartlett is fighting to defend his seat against Democratic challenger John Delaney. The widely criticized comments from U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., on rape sparked the exchanges between the two local campaigns and led to questions about Bartlett's stance on abortion....

"This is news to me that he would make exceptions in the case of rape or incest because his record goes completely counter to that," said Jodi Finkelstein, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.

Now a video of Bartlett's comments on abortion at a recent town hall meeting is circulating on the Internet. The progressive news site Think Progress summarized Bartlett's statements as follows (excerpt below):
THINK PROGRESS: Another House Republican is raising eyebrows for suggesting that women who are raped are less likely to become pregnant — just weeks after Rep. Todd Akin (R-MS) sparked controversy for his “legitimate rape” remark.

Speaking at a town hall on Thursday, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), responded to a question about abortion by reiterating his longstanding opposition to the procedure in every case except for rape, incest, and if the life of the woman is in danger. But when an audience member pressed Bartlett on the rape exception, he suggested that few pregnancies result from rape:
“...If you really – there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”
Think Progress also provided video of Bartlett's comments (see below):

In other CD6 news, last week Maryland Juice reported that the Maryland Republican Party sent attack mail to Montgomery County Democrats criticizing John Delaney's funding of an environmentally hazardous dump, that has since been shut down. But environmental groups are now jumping to Delaney's defense. See press statements from the League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club below:

LCV Action Fund Rebukes False 
Attacks on John Delaney’s Record

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, which works to elect candidates who will implement sound environmental policies, criticized Rep. Roscoe Bartlett for attacking Democratic challenger John Delaney’s private sector experience. In May, LCV Action Fund endorsed Delaney for Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District, citing his business experience in bringing clean energy jobs to Maryland, his advocacy for funding environmental safeguards and holding polluters accountable, and his commitment to protecting public health by defending the EPA.

“In Maryland’s 6th District Congressional race, John Delaney is the clear choice for voters who want a voice in their economy and a champion for their environment. Congressman Bartlett’s attacks can’t erase Delaney’s record as an advocate for a clean energy economy – one that protects the air we breathe and the water we drink, and creates jobs for Maryland workers,” said LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski. “The facts are pretty clear: Bartlett has a twenty-year record of siding with polluters and fighting against common sense standards that protect public health. For decades Bartlett has voted against clean air and water that our economy and our families need to thrive, and now he’s running away from his record.”

In sharp contrast to Delaney’s record, Bartlett earned a dismal 9% score on LCV’s 2011 National Environmental Scorecard.

The non-partisan LCV National Environmental Scorecard is a nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental and clean energy issues. Based on key environmental votes in the House and Senate, it is often used by the media to quickly describe a Member’s position. For more information, visit

John Delaney is featured on LCV Action Fund’s GiveGreen website,, the only bundling website devoted exclusively to raising money for environmental champions and candidates.

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Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, and authorized by Friends of John Delaney.


Maryland Sierra Club decries Rep. Bartlett's attempt 
to smear John Delaney's environmental record

“Congressman Bartlett has a failing grade from the Sierra Club because he has consistently voted against the environment,” said David Hauck, head of the Maryland Sierra Club's political committee. "Rather than talk about his own abysmal environmental voting record, Bartlett and the Maryland Republican Party have tried to confuse voters with a false attack on John Delaney. The truth is John Delaney has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and that’s why the Sierra Club has endorsed him.”

To view the Sierra Club's Congressional Report Card on Roscoe Bartlett go to and scroll through the Maryland congressional delegation to see Rep. Bartlett's record.

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More on the 6th District Congressional battle soon!

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