My mother used to tell me: "You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep." The relationship between Carly Fiorina and Sarah Palin tells you exactly what you need to know about Fiorina and her bid to become Senator -- she is simply too extreme for California.
It was only a few months ago that Sarah Palin announced her endorsement of Fiorina during the Republican primary. Fiorina warmed to the endorsement immediately, and used it to tout her conservative credentials -- including the fact that she was anti-choice -- during the campaign. In fact, during the week of May 17, a mailer touting Palin's endorsement of Fiorina was sent out to nearly 1 million Republican households throughout the state. Fiorina also added Palin's endorsement to TV ads and increased the size of her media buy by $250,000.
A closer look at the two women makes it clear why Palin included Fiorina in her so-called pack of "Mama Grizzlies" -- a group that includes such candidates as Christine O'Donnell from Delaware and Sharron Angle from Nevada. Palin and Fiorina share the same views on issues that matter to women in California - namely the issue of choice. Like Palin and the other "Mama Grizzlies," Fiorina advocates for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to safe, legal abortion care.
Of course, if Roe were to be overturned, women who seek abortion and their doctors would be criminalized. This is a fact -- whether Fiorina wants to admit it or not. Fifteen states currently have unenforceable, near-total criminal bans on abortion, and four more states have bans that would be triggered immediately if Roe were overturned. In other words, if Roe goes away, then abortion is made illegal and having one is a crime.
Moreover, the connection between Palin and Fiorina on the issue of choice runs deeper than Fiorina's outspoken desire to overturn Roe. Like she did with Palin's endorsement, Fiorina has flaunted the endorsement of anti-choice groups to bolster her conservative credentials. In fact, she prominently cites the endorsement of groups like the National Right to Life Committee, the California Pro-Life Council and the Susan B. Anthony List on her website. These are organizations that don't only oppose access to legal abortion, but also many forms of birth control and promising stem cell research.
This extremist view, however, doesn't represent California. Perhaps realizing that 71% of Californians are pro-choice, Fiorina has tried to distance herself from Sarah Palin since the Republican primary. On Saturday, October 16, Fiorina backed out of a scheduled Republican fundraiser that featured Palin, saying she was "too busy" to attend. Lately, Fiorina has tried to dodge the issue of choice entirely by saying that it doesn't matter to voters. This might be the one thing that Fiorina & Palin don't agree on, as Palin herself recently said that abortion was an "essential" issue in November.
This November, California voters -- especially women -- need to show Fiorina how wrong she. Women understand that the decision to become a parent is among the most personal and important that an individual ever makes in her life. It's a decision that women and their families ought to be free to make without governmental interference.
In contrast to Fiorina, Barbara Boxer has been a consistent voice for women and their right to choose. Senator Boxer has spent her entire career fighting for health access for all women and been a tireless supporter of Roe v. Wade.
This is why Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Senator Boxer over Ms. Fiorina. The danger of having Roe overturned by Fiorina and Palin's other "Mama Grizzlies" is real. This November, Californians should take note of the company that Fiorina keeps. A candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin who wants to go back to the days when abortion was a crime is too extreme for California.