Dr. Ami Bera holds rally with Sandra Fluke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Allison Teixeira
October 30, 2012
ELK GROVE, CA - Today, Sandra Fluke joined Dr. Ami Bera, Dr. Janine Bera, representatives from the California Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood, and other supporters for a rally to kick-off a women's day of action at Bera campaign headquarters in Elk Grove.
Fluke is a women's rights activist who moved to the center of the national debate over access to birth control after Congressman Dan Lungren refused to televise her Congressional testimony, opting to only televise an all-male panel. Her eventual remarks were also met with derogatory comments from Rush Limbaugh and other conservative pundits.
In the packed campaign office, Fluke called Bera "a doctor who understands how important women's health is, how critical it is, and who will stand with us when he gets to Congress" and cited "an extreme, incredible difference between Dr. Bera and his stand for women's health and Representative Lungren's absolutely dismal record."
She went on to criticize Congressman Lungren for his votes to limit access to birth control, water down the Violence Against Women Act, and defund Planned Parenthood. "When he votes to defund Planned Parenthood, he's voting to take away access to breast cancer screenings, to cervical cancer screenings, to assistance for new moms and their infants," she said. "That is what defunding Planned Parenthood means and that is what Dan Lungren has stood for."
Dr. Bera told the crowd that women's health issues are personal to him. “I want my daughter to grow up in a country where she is in control of her health care choices, where she makes the decisions that are right for her. I want my daughter to grow up in a country where she gets equal pay for equal work.” He went on to add that “the greatest travesty, is that while extremist Republicans have been trying to roll women's rights back, they've forgotten what they were elected to do, to get people working again.”
To become a doctor, Ami Bera swore an oath to respect patient autonomy. He believes government has no place in the exam room and that medical decisions are best left to patients and their doctors.
The Bera Campaign is hosting an all-day women-to-women phone bank today to explain to voters how Dr. Bera will fight to protect women's rights and to expose Congressman Dan Lungren's extreme record.
Some of Congressman Lungren's extreme views on women’s rights issues include:
• Lungren co-sponsored “human life” constitutional amendments that would have outlawed abortion—even in cases of rape and incest—five times [Sacramento Bee 10/01/04; 11/03/04].
• Lungren opposed ensuring women have access to birth control, calling the preventive care mandate in the Affordable Care Act an “assault on the first amendment.” He also co-sponsored and voted for the Protect Life Act which would undermine the accessibility of preventive care through broad “refusal laws” [HR 358, House Vote #789, 10/13/11].
• As Chair of the House Administration Committee, Lungren refused to televise the Democratic-led hearing on birth control Sandra Fluke testified at, instead opting to only broadcast an all-male panel of religious authorities [San Francisco Chronicle, 02/27/12; Politico, 02/21/12].
• Lungren voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides women’s health services to thousands of women in Sacramento County [HR 1 Amdt Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), House Vote 93, 2/18/2011]. The Sacramento Bee called this vote “a mean-spirited and reckless assault on women” [02/23/11]. Further, Lungren cosponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which prohibits organizations that perform abortions from receiving federal family planning funds [H.R.217, 01/20/11]. It specifically targets Planned Parenthood’s $363 million in federal funding, despite the fact that “not a penny of that public funding was used to pay for abortions” [Sacramento Bee 02/23/11].
• Lungren voted to cut funding from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program by $685 million [HR 2112, House Vote #459, 06/16/11].
• Lungren supported a watered-down reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a historically bipartisan bill signed in 1994 that seeks to prevent domestic violence and empower survivors. The House Republican bill which Congressman Lungren supported (HR 4970) diverged from the bipartisan Senate bill (S 1925) in its treatment of students, LGBT couples, Native Americans, and immigrants.
• Lungren voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which gives women a fighting chance in court to receive equal pay for equal work [HR 11, House Vote #9, 01/09/09; S. 181, House Vote #37, 01/27/09].
Dr. Bera is a lifelong Californian and a first generation American who's running for Congress in California's 7th Congressional District. His candidacy has been endorsed by President Bill Clinton and the Sacramento Bee. According to the Wall Street Journal, his campaign is "seen by political experts as one of the nation's most competitive." Dr. Bera and his wife Janine live in Elk Grove with their 15-year old daughter.