For the Record: My Position on Abortion
For almost 50 years, the decision of nine unelected justices in Roe v. Wade prevented a democratically derived consensus on the profound moral issue of abortion to be formed. The Dobbs v. Jackson decision will now allow that democratic process to unfold in each state to answer this fundamental question: At what point does society have the responsibility to protect life?
I was hoping that the debate would be conducted with sincerity, compassion, and respect for the broad range of views that people hold. Unfortunately, Democrats and the pro-abortion movement have no intention of engaging in a honest debate. They have already begun their multi-million dollar ad campaign to smear their political opponents with lies and distortions. I will be one of their primary targets, so before their lies gain a foothold, let me state my positions for the record.
1. I believe society has a responsibility to protect life at some point in the womb. As a U.S. Senator, I have voted in favor of protecting life after 20 weeks (5 months). I also signed an amicus brief supporting Dobbs in overturning Roe, and also in protecting life after 15 weeks (~4 months). I personally believe life begins at the moment of conception, but I fully support allowing the democratic process in each state to decide at what point society should protect that life. This is the profound moral question that must weigh the interests and rights of the mother against the interests and rights of the unborn child within her.
2. I have the utmost sympathy and compassion for any woman facing an unplanned pregnancy. I would absolutely oppose ANY penalty being imposed on mothers.
3. I support, and will continue to support, exceptions to abortion restrictions in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
4. I fully support in vitro fertilization. Because of my daughter’s heart defect, she was not able to safely carry a pregnancy. Fortunately, in vitro fertilization was available, and two wonderful women acted as gestational surrogates and blessed her with two beautiful children.
5. I fully support contraception and I believe it is the best way to reduce the number of abortions. I also fully support making contraception available free of charge to anyone who cannot afford it. I would not, however, force anyone who has a moral or religious objection to contraceptives to provide them.
6. I would never vote to prevent women from obtaining life-saving procedures or medications for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.
7. I would never vote to prevent a woman to cross state lines to access any medical treatment, including an abortion procedure. I believe any restriction of such travel would clearly be unconstitutional.
8. I believe the establishment of, and penalties for, most crimes should be determined at the state level. That applies to violations of abortion restrictions, although I will always oppose ANY penalty from being imposed on the mother.
Hopefully, this refutes most of the lies that Democrats will push in their attempt to portray their opponents as extreme and cynically gain political advantage using this morally profound issue. It is important, however, to understand that Democrats are the extremists when it comes to abortion. They oppose any and all reasonable restrictions on abortion, including supporting abortions right up to the moment of birth. They also want to use your tax dollars to pay for abortions. Those are the extreme positions.