San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General, held a news conference this morning to call upon her Republican opponent – Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley – to clarify his position on abortion rights.
Cooley “has consistently refused” to state his position, Harris’ campaign said in a news release, citing his refusal to answer NARAL Pro-Choice California’s questionnaire.
“NARAL Pro-Choice California is proud to endorse Kamala Harris for Attorney General. She will continue her long record of leadership to protect the right of women and their families to make personal, private decisions,” NARAL director Amy Everitt said in Harris’ news release. “California needs an Attorney General who is not afraid to lead, and who can take the time to return a phone call or fill out a questionnaire about one of the most important and fundamental rights that the A.G. has jurisdiction over. And California needs an A.G. who understands that choice is not a partisan issue. Steve Cooley has been silent on where he stands on a woman’s right to chose despite numerous phone calls, emails and letters.”
Harris’ camp says the state attorney general has statutory duties dealing with abortion rights, including implementation of new regulations surrounding federal health-care reform, enforcement of the California Freedom of Access to Clinic and Church Entrances (FACE) Act, enforcement of California’s laws ensuring timely access to emergency contraception, and more.
But Cooley’s campaign says her accusations are a load of balderdash: “The only problem with the latest Harris attack is that Steve Cooley is pro-choice. He’s always been pro-choice. Even worse, Kamala Harris knows it.”
Cooley’s news release says he didn’t answer NARAL’s questionnaire because it’s not a neutral organization “whatever claims they’ll make,” and “could be counted on to attack Cooley regardless of what our campaign did or didn’t say. Today’s presser proves it.”
“The bottom line: the trailing Harris is desperately trying to change the topic from her poor record on public safety and lack of support from law enforcement to something else. Anything else. So she is trying to manufacture phony issues with remarkably lame attacks,” Cooley’s camp claimed.