One of the worries I still hear a lot about from various progressive activists I talk to is that Allyson Schwartz’s history running the Blackwell Center – a women’s clinic that performed abortions among many other health services – could be a big liability running statewide, because the Republicans will say crazy stuff about this.
Here’s one such example of the kind of messaging you’d see if Schwartz were the nominee, which briefly appeared on our site this morning (automatically) through our Blogads service before we asked them to take it down:
Pretty ineffective, in my opinion. I’ve been repetitive on this point, but it’s worth saying again that while there is definitely a possible Blackwell Center ad out there somewhere in the Republican imagination that could be effective at peeling off conservative Democrats and independents in a general election, Republicans and their SuperPACs are going to end up running spooky derp like this that the Republican donor class thinks is effective, but isn’t.
That’s all just to say that if you want to argue Allyson Schwartz has some more significant liabilities than the other candidates, I don’t disagree with you, but the Blackwell Center isn’t one of them.
Schwartz debuted a very good response to this line of attack at the recent Democratic candidates’ forum in Pittsburgh, ably covered by Keegan Gibson:
Allyson Schwartz gave perhaps her best debate performance to date. She faced a question about her work founding and managing a women’s health clinic that performed abortions. It’s been called a general election risk by conservative Democrats, but the Congresswoman shone in her defense of her record.
“I helped start a women’s health center that was an important resource for the women in the Philadelphia area,” Schwartz said. “We provided a full range of services: gynecological care, parenting planning, first trimester abortions and prenatal care. There are women today who are grateful for the dignity and fine health service they received from the Blackwell Health Center.”