Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman is holding a campaign event on Sunday, September 11, though not to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Instead, the Senate hopeful is holding a pro-abortion rally alongside an activist who supports the movement to defund police.
The "Women for Fetterman" event is aimed at showcasing the candidate's support for "reproductive freedom" in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Fetterman, who has said he does not support any limits on abortion, will appear with female lawmakers and Planned Parenthood president Alexis McGill Johnson. The pro-abortion group has said it "supports efforts to defund and divest from the police" because of their "continued militarization and brutal treatment of Black people." McGill Johnson said in September 2020 that "we must keep demanding change, including the call to defund the police."
Police officers and firefighters are widely considered the heroes of the 9/11 attacks, in which 2,977 people were killed when Islamic terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Seventy-one law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, mostly while responding to the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City. Nearly 350 firefighters and paramedics also perished.
Fetterman's coordination with an organization that supports the defund movement comes as he faces intense scrutiny over his progressive criminal justice reform policies. Republican candidate Mehmet Oz has hammered Fetterman over his call to release up to one-third of inmates from Pennsylvania jails. As head of Pennsylvania's Board of Pardons, Fetterman has voted to free killers convicted of first-degree murder, often over the wishes of victims' families.
One of Fetterman's appointees to the Board of Pardons has called to "disarm the police" and supports Mumia Abu-Jamal, the ex-Black Panther who killed a Philadelphia police officer in the 1980s.
The rally is one of Fetterman's few public appearances since he suffered a near-fatal stroke in May. He attended a fundraiser in the Hamptons earlier this month, drawing criticism for rubbing shoulders with wealthy donors while campaigning as a blue-collar champion. Appearing alongside Fetterman on Sunday is Val Arkoosh, a physician who has said that gender transition surgeries for children are a matter of "human rights."
The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.