Oregon’s GOP candidate for Senate, Monica Wehby, was the first woman to enroll and graduate from the neurosurgery program at UCLA. She is currently the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland and formerly served as president of the Oregon Medical Association.
Recently, Wehby told MSNBC News, “As a neurosurgeon practicing in the male-dominated specialty, I know that women are just as capable and valuable as their male counterparts, and they must be compensated fairly for the work they do.”
Oregon women might be surprised to find out that, despite her impressive professional achievements in her ‘male-dominated’ field and comments demanding equal pay for women, Wehby is opposed to the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) — federal legislation which would help to close the gender wage gap.
Wehby was asked about the bill on Saturday by KGW-TV’s Lisa Porter. After discussing with Wehby why she would have voted to extend the Bush tax cuts, Porter asked,
“What about equal pay … for women?” asked Porter. “You said you’d vote against that, and it doesn’t seem to go along with what you represent.”
Calling the PFA a “flawed piece of legislation,” Wehby said, “I would be concerned that it would make it more difficult for businesses to hire women because of the fear of lawsuits. They would tend to steer away, and I think that’s an unintended consequence of laws like this that increase regulation and legislation.”
The bill, which has been blocked three times by Senate Republicans, would prohibit retaliation against workers who share salary information with each other, require the Department of Labor to collect demographic wage data, and force employers to show that pay difference between men and women doing the same job is based on legitimate criteria other than gender.
KGW’s interview was not the first time Wehby has spoken out about her opposition to the legislation. Last month, she told The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes that bills like the PFA, which was co-sponsored by her opponent Sen. Jeff Merkley (D), would “encourage job creators to look for labor substitution.”
Merkley’s camp said that not supporting the legislation is part of Wehby’s overall anti-women platform. In a statement, Merkley spokesperson Lindsey O’Brien said:
“[She] supported the Supreme Court’s decision to allow women’s employers to deny them birth control coverage, she wants more Supreme Court justices who say they’d overturn Roe v. Wade, and she thinks equal pay legislation would hurt women.”
Thank goodness for the women of Oregon, and the US as a whole, Wehby is trailing by more than 14 percent in the polls.
Watch Wehby’s interview: