NY Republican House contender Mike Lawler rips ‘vile’ pro-abortion protest targeting his wife

July 1, 2022

New York Post

By Bernadette Hogan

Republican Mike Lawler — contesting the newly created 17th Congressional District against DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and lefty state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi – is furious that Rockland County Democrats have targeted his wife as part of the ongoing debate over abortion.

“I was having an end of quarter fundraiser yesterday at Rockland Country Club and the Rockland Country Democrats organized a protest outside my fundraiser and invoked my wife’s name into the debate — which is really disgusting and vile and has no place in politics,” Lawler, 35, told The Post Friday. 

Photos show members of the Rockland Democrats showing up to protest the freshman GOP Assemblyman-turned-congressional candidate’s stance on abortion – with one man wearing a sign on his back that reads: “Doina’s Life?” 

Lawler told The Post he believes the Dems were criticizing his wife, Doina Lawler, for being fortunate enough to have the choice to give birth to their baby girl, Julianna, two months ago.

“Their whole argument is that people will die if they don’t have a choice and my wife had a choice in having a baby,” he said.

Speaking on his wife’s behalf, Lawler added that Doina “thinks it’s really unfortunate that once again the people who claim to be the most tolerant invoke family into a political campaign and that she’s being attacked for having a baby.”

Thursday night, the Rockland Dems’ Twitter account posted a photo of people cheering the protest – including the same man who wore the “Doina’s Life?” sign. The unidentified individual, dressed in an ill-fitting blue jumpsuit, tiny visor and sunglasses, was pictured wearing a sign on his front that read, “Mother’s Life?”

Rockland County Democratic Committee Chair John Gromada fired back at Lawler in an email to The Post that called the GOPer a “radical, anti-choice Republican.” 

“If Lawler had his way, he would join House Republicans’ efforts to ban abortion nationwide and take away women’s reproductive rights here in New York and all across the country,” Gromada wrote. “It’s sad that he’s trying to play the victim here when the real victims will be the millions of women who will suffer the consequences of the policies Lawler promotes.”

Gromada organized the protest, according to a copy of the email invite obtained by The Post. He did not identify the man with the sign calling out Lawler’s wife when asked.

“Most New Yorkers believe in a reasonable time period for an abortion to occur,” said Lawler. “Personally, I’m pro-life. But I think most New Yorkers agree there’s a reasonable time period by which someone has an ability to get an abortion. I think most people fall in that first trimester.”

He also called on his opponents, Maloney and Biaggi, to condemn the demonstration.

“Could you imagine the outrage if this was the spouse of a Democrat, and [an] immigrant no less?” seethed Lawler, whose wife is from Moldova and gained US citizenship in December 2020.

New York codified the right to an abortion in 2019 under the Reproductive Health Act, which allows the procedure upon request before a fetus is viable, or in cases where the mother’s health is at stake.

The Democratic state Legislature is also poised to approve an “Equality Amendment” to the state constitution that further protects reproductive rights ahead of the July Fourth holiday. The proposal could go before voters for final approval as soon as next year.