Not long ago, Republican Attorney General Candidate Jim Schultz threatened to sue me for a Tweet pointing out just how anti-abortion he is. In my opinion, the specifics of Schultz’s threatened lawsuit are less important than why he made those threats: I believe Jim Schultz is trying to hide just how anti-abortion he is from Minnesota voters.
Schultz’s latest efforts at obfuscating his anti-abortion views came almost immediately after a memo from the Minnesota GOP leaked, which told candidates to soften their positions on abortion. According to Schultz’s campaign manager, “Jim has made clear that, although Jim is pro-life, he will not leverage what should be an apolitical office to advocate for abortion policy.” This is a lie. Here’s the simple truth—Jim Schultz would undoubtedly work to restrict abortion access in office. Here is the proof.
Schultz served on the board of directors of the Human Life Alliance, an anti-abortion organization that describes its mission as working to “make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable.” That fact alone should answer any question about Schultz’s views on abortion. The group has also spread dangerous medical disinformation about abortion, claiming that late-term abortions are “never” needed to save a woman’s life and even going so far as to state that abortion “only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault.” Are we expected to believe that Schultz will sit down on the issue of abortion after helping to lead a group with such extreme views?
In a survey sent out by Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life, Minnesota’s largest anti-abortion organization that has openly talked about working to “end abortion,” Schultz said that he supported the group’s “incremental approach” to “creating a pro-life Minnesota.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what that means—this strategy is clearly an attempt to chip away at abortion access until it can be banned outright. It is a strategy Republicans have been successfully employing to ban abortion across America. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what Schultz wants. While Schultz’s team admits he is privately anti-abortion, they try to claim he wouldn’t actually change abortion policy in Minnesota.
Jim Schultz promised to “aggressively stand up” to defend pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for medication abortions. And this isn’t just a hypothetical threat—right here in Minnesota a pharmacist recently faced trial for refusing to fill a prescription for emergency contraception.
As Attorney General, Schultz would be responsible for representing the Department of Human Rights and the Board of Pharmacy if they took action against a pharmacist who refused to do their job and fill prescriptions for medication abortions or contraceptives. Schultz has made it clear that he would not do his job here because of his anti-abortion extremism.
Jim Schultz helped lead a group dedicated to banning abortion, told another anti-abortion organization he supported their approach to banning abortion, and promised to defend pharmacists who deny patients any prescription related to abortion. Jim Schultz’s anti-abortion record is clear, as is his promise to restrict abortion access in office.
There are plenty of other reasons to be concerned about Schultz’s candidacy. He’s a hedge fund lawyer who has never actually tried a case, he opposes gun safety reforms like universal background checks to keep Minnesotans safe, and he promised to defund the corporate law enforcement functions of the Attorney General’s office that protect everyday Minnesotans from predatory big businesses. However, Jim Schultz has gone to great lengths to hide his anti-abortion record, so I feel it is so important to call attention to it.
Republicans across the country have lied about their plans to restrict abortion right up until they gain power, then they move swiftly to restrict it. We have every reason to believe Jim Schultz will do the same thing when he gains power, so we have to make sure he never does.
Ken Martin is the DFL party chairman.