Elizabeth Holtzman and Carlina Rivera, candidates for the 10th Congressional District, held a joint press conference outside the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse Friday urging voters to elect a woman to serve NY10 which includes parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.
Rivera and Holtzman pointed out that it was more important than ever that a “fearless” female leader represented the district in Congress after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in late June, taking away a woman’s right to abortion.
Holtzman, who served in Congress from 1973 to 1981 and later became district attorney of Kings County and New York City comptroller, laid out the tragic consequences the ruling already had on young girls and women.
“A 10-year-old girl had to be taken out of her own state to get an abortion which was required as a result of incest rape. We have a young girl in Florida, 16 years old, who’s being denied the right to an abortion by the courts. We have a woman in Nebraska, who was being prosecuted for giving her daughter abortion pills,” Holtzman recounted. “Where is this going to stop? This is barbaric. This is the stone age.”
Holtzman, who authored the extension of the Equal Rights Amendment, pointed out that not one of the democratic debates for the highly contested 10th Congressional District addressed abortion issues and a woman’s right to choose and that too many in the district ignored women’s rights.
“If the Supreme Court can take away the rights of more than half the population, they can take anyone’s rights away,” Holtzman said. “And that’s the danger. So this is not a woman’s issue only. This is an issue for men and women, for every person in the 10th district. We need a strong, fearless woman’s voice. And that’s why I’m here today.”
Rivera, who currently serves as a City Council Member for the 2nd district, said that not every candidate in the overcrowded field had not made a woman’s right to choose a priority, referring to rival Dan Goldman.
Goldman, a former counsel in the first impeachment trial against Donald Trump and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, has not been clear about his stance on abortion rights -an issue that might not go over well in the most pro-choice district in the United States. In a tweet dating back to May, he wrote, “You can be against abortion and pro-choice because you recognize that each individual should be able to choose whether to have a baby or not.”
“We have candidates, and particularly I’ll name Dan Goldman, who has changed his position on abortion four times in three weeks,” Rivera said. “He said he’d support state bans on abortion. He’s refused to clarify his position on abortion when asked directly, and he’s even invested in anti-abortion, evangelical colleges that call abortion a genocide.”
Rivera, who created New York’s municipal abortion funds and provided free medication abortion, pointed out that the National Institue for Reproductive Health refused to endorse Goldman.
“The best that he has come up with when asked about abortion is that he has, and I quote, ‘creative solutions,'” Rivera said. “The only thing that’s creative are his evasive and ever-changing answers. But we know the solution: we have to fight like hell for our rights and women.”
She went on to say that there were already “too many spineless politicians who aren’t willing to fight for our rights or reproductive freedom.”
Holtzman and Rivera urged voters to choose reproductive freedom and abortion access and that the district deserved a representative committed to those progressive ideas.
“We know that abortion is on the ballot in November,” Rivera said. “It’s also on the ballot next Tuesday.”
A representative for Goldman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.