To the editor:
As a long-term supporter of Planned Parenthood and District 34 resident, I was disturbed to see the postcard sent out recently by state senator and IDC leader Jeff Klein implying that he and his crew are backed by Planned Parenthood.
The words “Supported by Planned Parenthood” and the Planned Parenthood logo appeared next to a large picture of Klein labeled, “100 percent pro-choice” in a huge font.
Like a growing number of local Democrats outraged by the Independent Democratic Conference, I suspected the implied claim of an endorsement was false.
Planned Parenthood immediately called out the deceptive language of Klein’s mailer. Joan Malin, the chief executive and president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, wrote to supporters that she was “surprised and disappointed” to learn that Klein put out a mailer that “misleads constituents by implying electoral support from Planned Parenthood.”
Robin Chapelle Golston, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, told the press, “We were blindsided and disheartened that the PPESA logo was used in a way that creates the appearance of an endorsement. This was done so without our consent.”
A long overdue update of New York’s archaic abortion laws is precisely the sort of progressive goal that Klein and his IDC prevent us from achieving. Klein offered nothing more than lip service to reproductive health care and contraceptive coverage, then sent out postcards crowing about support from Planned Parenthood, only to get slapped down by its leaders.
“Using Planned Parenthood’s name and logo on this mailer shows that Jeffrey Klein knows his constituents support reproductive rights,” Malin wrote. “And yet the IDC, of which Klein is a member, continues to stand in the way. They have done nothing to advance these bills to the floor, even when they had bipartisan support.”
Passed by our representatives in the Assembly yet again in 2017, both the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act died in committee without advancing to the floor where pro-choice Democrats and Republicans alike could vote their support.
In Joan Malin’s words, Klein’s mailer “not only misleads your constituents, but is an insult to New Yorkers who need these measures to access the health care they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives, as well as the advocates who have fought tirelessly to advance these bills for years.”
Without true advocacy, Klein’s claim to support this legislation is a sham.
The citizens of the Bronx deserve better. Much better.