‘We want to protect your health and safety’: Arizona lawmaker who opposed abortion rights rally
AZ – A Republican state lawmaker who voted against an abortion rights bill in 2015 and voted to block the state from enforcing new federal abortion restrictions has apologized for his position and is pledging to work toward “reaffirming” the state’s position.
State Sen. Matt Lee (R) apologized Thursday for his remarks during a House debate on abortion.
He said he was “in a hurry to get back to work” but “I’m going to have to get my head back in the game” before “doing anything else.”
“I just made a mistake and I apologize to the people of Arizona and to all the other people who were disappointed in me,” Lee said during the debate.
“We want you to know that we are working to re-affirm the state of Arizona’s position.”
A spokesperson for Lee told Breitbart News that the lawmaker’s remarks were “offensive and inappropriate” and that he “would never make such a statement to a constituent.”
“It was never my intention to be offensive, insensitive, or disrespectful,” Lee told reporters Thursday.
“I made a big mistake.
I have to work to make sure we are a better state, and I’m going back to working toward re-establishing the Arizona position.”
Rep. Lee has been in office for only four years.
The Arizona House passed a bill in January 2015 to require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The bill failed in the Republican-controlled state Senate.
Republican state Rep. Brian King (R-Mesa) introduced the bill in the Arizona House in January.
Rep. King told reporters at the time that he supported the bill because “if you’re going to allow the procedure to be performed, you should have a place to get it.”
Lee and King, both Republicans, have faced criticism for their stances.
Last month, a group of women, including two women from the same legislative district, sent a letter to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to demand that Lee and his staff “immediately cease their actions” in the House and Senate.
The women said the lawmakers’ opposition to abortion rights is “disgraceful.”
“Your actions are not only shameful, they are illegal and will not be tolerated,” the women said in the letter, which was obtained by Breitbart News.
“The public needs to know about the fact that you are actively seeking to prevent women from getting abortions and that you have actively sought to advance the interests of the pro-life movement,” the letter continued.
“It is clear that you will not hesitate to use your position as a member of the House of Representatives to further your agenda and agenda of the abortion industry.”
You cannot continue to represent Arizona’s values and your actions must be stopped immediately.
“The women were also concerned about the bill’s potential impact on reproductive health care access in the state.
The state already has restrictions on abortion services, and the letter stated that Lee’s actions “have the potential to negatively impact women’s health and lives.”
Reporter Sarah Hagen contributed to this report.