WARDLOW: Access to Contraception Goes Against “American Values”

Recent reporting by City Pages and The Intercept reveal that Doug Wardlow authored a secret, extreme right-wing blog in violation of judicial ethics standards, where he detailed his backwards and dangerous views on women’s health care and the rights of LGBTQ Americans.

In a blog post from November 2004, Wardlow laments that “activist courts” have subverted “the ordering of American values” and “the will of the American people” through their decisions to grant same-sex couples the right to marry, women the right to choose, and women and couples the right to use contraception as they see fit:

A sizeable portion of the left has now given up on America's original constitutive values. They subvert the ordering of American values, putting their own views on lesser political issues above the interests of democracy and liberty. The first sign of this has been with us for some time -- the use of activist courts to subvert the will of the people and foist liberal social values on society by fiat. The Massachusetts same-sex marriage decision is a prime example, as are the Texas sodomy case, Roe v. Wade and even Griswold v. Connecticut, the seminal contraception case.

The truth is, while Wardlow writes that the Roe decision subverted “the will of the people,” he himself has admitted during his Attorney General campaign that he favors overturning Roe, a position shared by just 12% of Minnesotans, according to a Star Tribune poll.

In another post from June of 2004, Wardlow bluntly offers his view that women’s bodies are “designed” for reproduction, and states that they therefore do not have the right to make their own family planning choices.

“First, the woman chooses to undertake the risk of becoming pregnant whereas the sleeping person in the example certainly did not go to bed understanding the risk of being hooked up to a dying violinist during the night…. The woman's body is not designed to be hooked up to a dying violinist. It is designed, however, to bear offspring.”

The precedent of the Griswold case has been used for later Supreme Court rulings, including Roe and the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Wardlow, then attorney at the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, repeatedly condemned that ruling as well.

Even before these most recent comments came to light, Wardlow has made clear his extreme anti-choice agenda for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Multiple times on the campaign trail, Wardlow has promised to use the powers of the office to limit a woman’s right to choose. Wardlow says he is “absolutely 100% pro-life, and that will be a priority in the Attorney General's Office.” Wardlow has also distributed a campaign document proclaiming that one of his top six priorities would be to “prosecute illegal trafficking of fetal body parts.” This refers to a discredited, far-right conspiracy theory which has inflamed violence against doctors and patients across the country.

These discriminatory, extreme views are out of step with the people Wardlow is running to represent as Attorney General. Minnesotans rejected the anti-LGBTQ Marriage Amendment which Doug Wardlow pushed for in the legislature. Minnesotans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices.

Minnesotans deserve an Attorney General who will defend the rights of everyone, not someone like Wardlow who wants to politically purge the Attorney General’s office to push his extreme agenda and discriminate against those he disagrees with.