There are many contenders for the Republican nomination for Wisconsin’s senate seat, but all bets are on the winner being either former Bush administration Secretary Tommy Thompson, or former Congressman Mark Neumann. Neumann has been gaining support among the more conservative branch of the party, but now he has a new national endorsement to boast, too.
Led by well known anti-women icon Phyllis Shlafly, the PAC dedicates itself to supporting “Republican congressional candidates who are unconditionally pro-life. Candidates who recognize the inherent right to life of every innocent human being, from conception until natural death, without discrimination, are eligible for support by RNC/Life PAC.”
So what is “unconditionally pro-life?” It means opposing abortion at all times, even in rape, incest, lethal anomalies and defects, and even the health of a mother. It means being against emergency contraception by reclassifying it (erroneously) as an “abortion causing drug.” It means being against Title X, coverage of birth control under insurance, and every other means of expanding access to women.
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Does it mean being against birth control per se? That’s not as clear. Then again, neither is Neumann’s position on contraception.
In his 2010 bid for governor (where he lost the party endorsement to Scott Walker), Neumann and Walker both got coveted (and unprecedented) endorsements from Pro-Life Wisconsin, the radical anti-choice group that does in fact believe that birth control should be outlawed. When asked whether he agreed with the group’s position, Neumann said no. But he did not distance himself from his congressional record, where he voted to eliminate family planning money via Title X, as well as to restrict access to family planning globally
If he does become the GOP nominee, will Neumann distance himself from his rabidly anti-choice supporters in order to win over moderate voters who would otherwise be tempted to vote for Democratic nominee and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin? And will the social conservatives who supported him let him?