Life story

Laxalt’s pro-life story downplays power, a privilege most women don’t have

This opinion column was submitted by Laura FitzSimmons, who wrote the 1990 referendum petition that protected abortion-related health care in Nevada.

Recently, I received an email from Adam Laxalt’s campaign titled “Why I’m Pro-Life,” in which he shared his “personal story” with me.

“In the 1970s, my mother became pregnant with me. She was in her early twenties, had no college education, and was unmarried…By the grace of God, my mother went ahead with her pregnancy, knowing full well how her life might change. As a single mother, she relied completely on God and the support of her loved ones to help raise me… Although we did not see it at the time, the adversity my mother and I faced together brought me to where I am today. “

The circumstances of Laxalt’s birth are unique. Her mother’s father, Paul Laxalt, founded a major law firm in Nevada before becoming governor of our state. In 1974 he became a United States Senator and moved to Washington, DC with his wife and daughter, Michelle. When she was 24, Michelle was pregnant in 1977 by her father’s colleague, Senator Pete Domenici. At that time, Senator Domenici was 46, a staunch Catholic and the married father of eight children.

Michelle Laxalt and Senator Domenici have sworn to secrecy to avoid a scandal that would have ended his political career. Michelle has become one of Washington’s most prominent lobbyists. The secret was kept until Senator Domenici retired after serving 38 years in the Senate.

In February 2013, when the story finally broke, Laxalt was contacted by a Washington Post reporter and said, “I have lived my whole life as a private citizen and I intend to remain so… I intend to address personal issues privately and will not. comment or join a public discussion. Fair enough. But now that he’s exploiting his personal history for his perceived political advantage, I have to call him.

Adam and Michelle Laxalt were born into privilege and power. Michele Laxalt acknowledged this in the statement she gave to the Albuquerque Journal in 2013 when she and Senator Domenici acknowledged Laxalt’s paternity: “Given that my father and the father of my child were United States Senators United, I was convinced that I would make this choice according to my values…” and affirmed that Laxalt “lived surrounded by love, joy and opportunity”.

Women who make the difficult decision to seek health care for abortion do not live in the rarefied world in which Laxalt’s mother knew her son would be born. Reading Adam Laxalt’s email, the chorus of Creedence Clearwater Revivalsong’s “Fortunate Son” came to mind: “It’s not me, I’m not the son (and the grandson) of a senator, I have no luck” – to supplant Laxalt’s deaf missive.

Laura FitzSimmons wrote the referendum petition in 1990 that protected abortion-related health care in Nevada.

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