News · Press Release

New York’s Vulnerable GOP Freshmen Are Embracing Radical Anti-Choice Extremism

Increasingly vulnerable New York Republicans Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams are getting called out for blatantly abandoning their phony moderate campaign rhetoric and instead embracing right-wing efforts to restrict abortion access.

As a reminder, MolinaroLawlerLaLota, and Williams all assured voters that abortion rights would be left up to the states, and they wouldn’t back dangerous federal anti-choice measures. BUT, the highly vulnerable members have already voted in support of several federal anti-choice efforts since entering Congress:

  • Each of them voted to add an extreme and hyperpartisan amendment to the NDAA that would restrict reproductive health care for servicemembers and their families.

  • Each of them voted to pass anti-choice legislation that could punish doctors and is “chock-full of misinformation and creates more barriers to care.”

  • Each of them voted to allow states to ban abortion completely by voting to block the Women’s Health Protection Act.

“It’s ridiculous for these Republicans to claim to be ‘moderates’ on abortion rights when they vote to pass far-right Freedom Caucus priorities that chip away at women’s freedoms and restrict access to abortion care,” said DCCC Spokesperson Nebeyatt Betre. “Their phony rhetoric can’t hide their blatantly anti-choice voting record.”

Read more below:

NY swing district Republicans are less neutral on abortion than they promised
Rebecca C. Lewis
City & State, 7/24/2023

On the campaign trail last year, freshman Republicans in hotly contested congressional swing districts assured voters that abortion rights in New York would remain the same despite the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade. But since taking office, several have taken votes or supported legislation that would seem at odds with their campaign promises that states should handle the abortion debate and that they would oppose a federal abortion ban.

Perhaps most notably, upstate Rep. Brandon Williams in May signed on as a co-sponsor to H.R.7, legislation that would not only codify the Hyde Amendment – which bans the use of federal money for abortions – but would prohibit private insurance plans purchased through an Affordable Care Act exchange from covering abortion as well. If it became law, the bill would also override laws in New York and a handful of other states that require most private insurers to cover abortion. Williams is one of only four Republicans who have cosponsored the bill.

Last year, Williams told that abortion is a states’ rights issue. “The federal government needs to stay out of this,” he told the news outlet while running in the highly competitive race. “The states have to resolve this.” A spokesperson for Williams said the Congress member is still recovering from a recent bypass surgery and could not provide official comment before deadline.

Williams is also a member of the Republican Study Committee along with fellow freshman Rep. Nick LaLota of Long Island. The caucus consists of many conservative members of the House majority and is behind many of the most far-right policy pushes coming from the chamber since Republicans took control at the start of this year. Although neither Williams nor LaLota are personally co-sponsors of these pieces of legislation, the Republican Study Committee released a budget proposal endorsed by its members that included a number of bills limiting abortion at the federal level, including an outright ban from the moment of conception, a “fetal heartbeat” bill that would make abortions illegal after six weeks, and a 15-week abortion ban. Like Williams, LaLota also said that abortion should be left up to the states while campaigning. 

Democrats have also decried an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act last week that would curtail abortion access for members of the military by ending the practice of reimbursing travel expenses for service members to get abortion services. All but two Republicans – including all of New York’s GOP delegation – voted in favor of the contentious amendment that is expected to imperil the future of the crucial spending bill due to Democratic opposition to the measure. The abortion-related measure was pushed by the far-right Freedom Caucus in the House. According to CNN, a White House spokesperson said Republicans were “hijacking a bipartisan bill and devolving it into a hardcore rightwing wishlist.”

Votes in favor of the amendment include Reps. Marc Molinaro and Mike Lawler, two moderate Republicans from the Hudson Valley who have touted their bipartisan chops in the past, and pledged to vote against national abortion bans while campaigning. 


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