The Pennsylvania’s chapter of the National Organization for Women announced their endorsement of Democratic challenger Billy Smith this morning, over State Representative Margo Davidson. This comes as a shock to some, as it is pretty atypical for an organization advocating for women’s rights to opt to support a man over a woman.
Representative Davidson loudly attacked women’s reproductive rights in 2011 as a cosponsor of HB 732, now a Pennsylvania law called Act 122. Citing the death of Davidson’s cousin at the hands of Kermit Gosnell, Davidson advocated for TRAP laws (targeted regulations of abortion providers) that had no real impact on patient safety, but did force the closure of five Pennsylvania clinics a few months later. You can read more about that here.
PA NOW released the following statement. “Pennsylvania NOW endorses the candidates we know will fight for the women of the Commonwealth every time. In this race, that’s Billy Smith.” Smith said the following of this major endorsement.
“I am humbled by the support of the National Organization of Women. As the son of a single mother, who was also raised with the help of my single grandmother, I am keenly aware of the struggles and gains that women have endured and made to attain gender equality. I am forever in debt to the amazing women in my life for helping me become the man that I am today. I’ve always stood with women and will continue to do so as a member of Pennsylvania state legislature.”
This is the third major blow to Representative Davidson’s re-election campaign. Smith also has been endorsed by PSEA (the state’s largest union of teachers) and Planned Parenthood.