Debbie Wasserman Schultz under fire for calling young women complacent on abortion

Gabe Friedman

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaking to delegates of the party's convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 6, 2012. (DNC via Flickr )

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaking to delegates of the party’s convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 6, 2012. (DNC via Flickr )

(JTA) — Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing criticism from liberal activists for suggesting that young women are complacent about their abortion rights.

“Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided,” Wasserman Schultz told The New York Times Magazine in an interview published Wednesday.

Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision that established the right to an abortion.

At least three major progressive activist groups, including MoveOn.org, RootsAction and CREDO Action, have seized on the issue to launch petitions urging her to resign her post as chair of the DNC.

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The abortion rights group Reproaction encouraged its supporters to criticize her on Twitter with the hashtag #DearDebbie.

Wasserman Schultz responded to the controversy in a statement Wednesday.

“We need women of every generation — mine included — to stand up and speak out, and that is the main message I sought to convey in that interview,” she wrote.

Some Sanders supporters have criticized Wasserman Schultz in recent months for favoring Hillary Rodham Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. There have been fewer Democratic primary debates than Republican debates and some have been scheduled at low-TV-viewership times, giving Sanders fewer high-profile opportunities to challenge Clinton.

Last month, the DNC temporarily cut the Sanders campaign off from the party’s important voter data files after a staffer peeked at Clinton’s data during a software glitch — leading to a public spat between the campaign and the party leadership.

Asked about the petitions calling for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she still has confidence in the DNC chairwoman, ABC News reported.

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