The Bilbray-Akin Connection: Voting Records on Women’s Reproductive Health are Nearly Identical

AUGUST 23, 2012
Contact: MaryAnne Pintar(619) 252-9923

San Diego – Today the Scott Peters campaign urged voters in the new 52nd Congressional District to compare Rep. Brian Bilbray’s record on women’s issues and choice to that of embattled Rep. Todd Akin. Akin is under fire this week for recent extremist and reprehensible remarks regarding women who’ve been raped. He is also the co-sponsor of a bill that attempted to re-define the definition of rape to make it more difficult for victims to get the care they need.

“Clearly, Mr. Akin is no champion for women’s rights and Brian Bilbray’s record on women’s rights and choice closely mirrors Mr. Akin’s,” said Peters Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Based on their comparable voting records, it appears they hold many of the same views towards women, choice and women’s access to reproductive health care.”

Over the past five years, Bilbray has voted nearly identically to Akin on legislation detrimental to women’s health and safety, including several votes that limit a woman’s access to reproductive care. These include multiple votes to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which provides women with access to contraception, reproductive well checks, as well as screenings for breast, ovarian and cervical cancer. They've also voted together on several other bills negatively affect women’s health and safety.

“Their similarities don’t stop there,” Pintar said. “In fact, since 2007, Representatives Bilbray and Akin have voted together 90% of the time on more than 4,000 votes. It’s pretty tough to call yourself a moderate when your voting record is almost identical to someone who is being lambasted by his own party for his radical, extremist rhetoric,” she said.

In stark contrast, Peters was recently endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and given a 100% rating by the organization for his record of standing firm and strong for the protection women's access to reproductive health care. Peters is also endorsed by several high profile, women elected officials because they know he will not compromise on women's rights. 

Pintar also noted that while high-profile Republicans across the country like Mitt Romney, Rep. Paul Ryan and Speaker John Boehner have publicly denounced Akin’s recent remarks and even asked him to abandon his Senate race, Bilbray has been silent.

Bilbray, who only recently moved into the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District, has been doing acrobatic-type maneuvering to try and cast himself as moderate and “independent,” despite voting with party leadership 90% of the time. The 50th District, which he currently represents, has a 9% Republican advantage, and was far more likely to vote for a Tea Party extremist like Bilbray.

The new 52nd is 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat and 1/3 Decline to State. Peters has lived in the new 52nd for 23 years and has a record and reputation as a problem-solver and consensus builder who works across party lines to get things done for San Diegans. He is endorsed by high profile Republicans, Democrats and independents like former State Sen. Lucy Killea.

Bilbray has not announced the endorsements of any high-profile Democrats in this race.

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Congressmen Brian Bilbray/Todd Akin Vote Together Against Women’s Health and Safety

Since 2007, Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Todd Akin have voted together 90% of the time, covering 4650 votes!

7/19/2007, HR3043: An amendment to the fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Result: Congressmen Bilbray and Todd Akin were early supporters of the War Against Women as both voted to deny Planned Parenthood federal funding.

2/18/2011, Pence Amendment to H.R.1: Voted to Prohibit Funding for Planned Parenthood

Result: Congressman Bilbray joined Congressman Todd Akin in support of defunding Planned Parenthood—limiting the availability of contraception and reproductive health services for women—by voting "aye."

4/14/2011, H.Con Res 36: Bilbray voted for a bill to insert a section in the FY11 Continuing Resolution which would prohibit Planned Parenthood and its affiliates from receiving federal funding.

Result: Congressmen Bilbray and Todd Akin continued their assault on women’s reproductive rights by voting together to deny funding for Planned Parenthood denying educational reproductive health programs to over 1.1 million people annually.


10/13/2011, HR 358Voted to deny women access to life saving procedures by allowing health service providers to place moral considerations above medical considerations.

Result: Congressman Brian Bilbray helped advance the agenda of Congressman Todd Akin by voting for the bill co-sponsored by the Missouri Congressman.

 5/16/2012, H.R. 4970: Voted in favor of a GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that has been heavily criticized for not extending equal protections to native, immigrant, and LGBT women.

Result: H.R.4970 denies equal protection to all women; by voting “aye” Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Todd Akin leave native, immigrant, and LBGT women vulnerable to acts of violence.