“In Tiffany Smiley’s world, I would have sat, bleeding out, in a car or a waiting room, as I waited for politicians and attorneys — none of them who had medical knowledge, who knew me or my medical history — to debate whether they should save my life”

**VIDEO and PHOTOS from press conference**

(Spokane, WA) – Today, ahead of the U.S. Senate debate between Patty Murray and Tiffany Smiley, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell joined reproductive rights advocates at a press conference in Spokane to highlight the stakes of Washington’s U.S. Senate race for abortion rights. Speakers made clear that electing Tiffany Smiley would threaten the right to choose — even in Washington state — and that Patty Murray is the only candidate in this race who can be counted on to protect a woman’s right to choose and fight back against Republican attempts to roll back women’s rights and ban abortion nationwide.

“I have been pregnant four times in my life. All of my pregnancies were planned and wanted. And yet, in two of the four, I found myself facing the choice between my life and the life of the fetus I carried,” said Elisabeth Kraus, a Spokane-area professor and reproductive rights advocate. “At the first sign of sepsis, I knew I’d have to choose my life or the life of a son that couldn’t live. It was the first time that I had ever considered that abortion procedures could be essential health care that save lives. And so I chose — as was my right and my moral obligation — health care that kept my body from looming infections and allowed my sons to pass in peace. I chose the best I could, in a terrible situation, when I chose to have a late-term abortion.”

“In Tiffany Smiley’s world, I would have sat, bleeding out, in a car or a waiting room, as I waited for politicians and attorneys — none of them who had medical knowledge, who knew me or my medical history — to debate whether they should save my life,” Kraus continued. “And given that my situation changed from tragic to emergent in a matter of minutes, her political posturing would have cost my life. It’s easy – as candidate Smiley has shown us — to flip flop positions in order to pander for people’s votes. It takes a true champion to find what’s right, and to fight for what’s right, with consistent rigor for 30 years. Patty Murray is that champion. The choice for Washington is so abundantly clear. Senator Murray is feisty and tenacious, knowledgeable, and will never back down until we live in the world we deserve to live in. A world where we are free and empowered to make the medical decisions that are best, safest, and most honorable to us.”

“I was seven years old when I was sexually assaulted. I was able to get away and tell a parent, who kept me from being further harmed. But many girls and women can’t get away. They live in fear of their abuser and can’t stop an unwanted pregnancy” said Candace Mumm, a former Spokane City Councilwoman. “Last June, our Republican-dominated Supreme Court reversed 50 years of women’s rights — and decided the government of each state should make reproductive choices for women. And while we live here in Washington, a pioneer state for women’s rights, we also live here in Spokane, right next to one of the most frightening states for women’s help — Idaho. We are seeing the Radical Right turn back the clock in our backyard. This is what is at stake in our midterm elections: a woman’s right to choose. Senator Patty Murray has fought for that right and protected us. Tiffany Smiley is backed by a whole pack of anti-choice Republicans and she has not come out with any promises to protect us.”

“Women’s rights have been protected in Washington state for Tiffany Smiley’s entire life,” Candace continued. “Those of us over 60, we can remember the stories. The dangers. The deaths. The shattered lives of friends and loved ones. That’s why we are taking the Senate race very seriously. That’s why we are decisively behind Senator Murray. And that’s why we cannot turn back the clock and take a chance with our freedom.”

“We need more people like Patty Murry in office,” said Naida Spencer, Co-Treasurer of the Spokane County Democrats. She has fought for people in Washington State for years and made life better. She is one of the few who actually work hard and fight for all of us to have the rights we deserve. I want my vote to go to a person who knows how to fight and get things done, not someone who will say whatever she thinks people want to hear and then fall in line behind the Republican leadership and do their bidding. Patty is beholden to no one but her voters — and her legislative record shows that.”

“These are personal choices, and women should have the right to privacy to decide these issues between them and their physicians. But we know that all of that is now at stake” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. “That is why we have to fight and communicate that this is so important for us to understand. But that, now, is being undermined by a Republican Party that wants to take that right away from you. We need to send someone to the U.S. Senate who is going to vote to codify Roe into law. Senator Murray has been a champion for women’s rights in this area for a long time.”

“There is one simple way to solve this: that is to elect women to the United States Senate who are going to vote to codify Roe into federal law,” Cantwell continued. “To elect Democrats who are going to fight to make sure we reverse the Supreme Court’s decision and have a federal law in place that says this is an issue up to a woman and her physician. Patty Murray will do that — she’s been fighting for us all along.”


  • Tiffany Smiley is, in her own words, “100 percent pro-life.
  • Tiffany Smiley expressed support for a national abortion ban – and even for defunding Planned Parenthood — before she started running for Senate.
  • Smiley cheered the decision that overturned Roe and allowed states to ban abortion with no exceptions.
  • At the start of her campaign, Tiffany Smiley endorsed the Texas abortion ban, one of the most extreme in the nation with no exceptions for rape or incest — even while admitting “there’s a lot of parts of it that make it hard for me in Washington state.
  • In September, her campaign reiterated her “respect” for the extreme Texas law.
  • Smiley refused to say – after being repeatedly asked – whether she supports abortion exceptions for rape and incest.
  • Tiffany Smiley is raising money fromcampaigning with, and collecting endorsements from anti-abortion politicians who are committed to passing a national abortion ban, including those working to ban abortion in Washington state.
  • Tiffany Smiley’s first vote would be to make Mitch McConnell Senate majority leader — and Republicans have already introduced and suggested they would bring to the floor legislation to ban abortion nationwide and impose criminal penalties on Americans.


  • Smiley has campaigned with and fundraised with extreme anti-abortion Senate challengers including Blake MastersJ.D. VanceAdam LaxaltTedd Budd, and anti-abortion incumbents including Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL).
  • Another early endorsement for Smiley came from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) who is proudly anti-abortion and questioned the constitutionality of birth control.
  • One of Smiley’s first endorsements came from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA),
    one of the most forceful advocates for a federal abortion ban.
  • Washington State House Rep. Jesse Young, who sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in Washington, stumped with Tiffany Smiley, and heaped praise on her at a campaign event in Bremerton.
  • Former State Rep. Luanne Van Werven, who introduced legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks in Washington state with no exceptions for rape or incest, recently campaigned alongside Smiley in support of her candidacy.
  • Joe Kent gushed over Tiffany Smiley at a recent campaign event, calling Smiley “pure MAGA”.; Kent has called called abortion “an evil stain on our humanity”.