Updated 04/09/2011 10:39 PM
Republicans React to Slaughter's Controversial Comments
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If tensions in Washington weren't already high enough in Washington between Republicans and Democrats, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter may have added a little more fuel to the fire.
During a rally Wednesday on the National Mall in Washington, the Rochester-area Democrat said Republicans newly elected to the House of Representatives last November came to Congress "to kill women."
"It is a very difficult time for us here in Washington," Slaughter said. "There is nothing in any of their bills that have anything to do with the health of a woman. You are allowed to have an abortion if you have been raped, or it's a matter of incest, but you have to have a receipt… did you know that? It's sort of like an old German Nazi move: show me your papers."
Slaughter was drawing a parallel between the Republican House majority elected in November 1994 and the Republican House majority elected in November 2010. To one newly elected Republican Congressman, Slaughter's remarks were uncalled for.
"From my perspective they're just absurd and irresponsible comments," said U.S. Rep. Tom Reed of the 29th District.
The Corning Republican was recently appointed to serve with Slaughter on the House Rules Committee.
"Well I'm surprised that a senior member of the House, who's been here, for quite some time to engage in such extreme rhetoric and take such an extreme position it's just doesn't seem to be appropriate behavior in my opinion," said Reed. "I think it is done by design to distract the American people from the honest conversation that we're having about our fiscal house."
Former George H.W. Bush Speech writer and political Analyst Curt Smith said these kinds of comments turn voters off.
"They don't want this kind of name calling," said Smith. "They don't want this kind of innuendo, this kind of guilt by association, and apparently that's all she knows. All she knows anymore."
Slaughter's office released the following statement in regards to the incident:
"Congresswoman Slaughter was speaking about a bill that would require women to provide documentation proving they were victims of rape or incest, a bill that was so extreme that the hearing set to take place that afternoon was canceled. It’s important to understand that millions of women rely on family planning organizations for cervical and breast cancer screenings each year. 50 million Americans do not have insurance so it’s difficult to claim that women will not die unnecessarily under these conditions."