ABORTION: Boxer, Fong Trade Jabs On Parental Consent
As abortion issues become "increasingly prominent" in the U.S. Senate race in California, Republican candidate Matt Fong said Thursday he supports "federal legislation that would make it a crime to help a minor evade state laws requiring parental consent for an abortion," the Los Angeles Times reports. In response to his statement, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer (D) "immediately denounced him as an 'extremist' who would join congressional Republicans in attempting to restrict and ultimately outlaw abortion rights." During a meeting with reporters yesterday, an "uncharacteristically edgy" Fong explained, "I believe in local control of the laws, and if they (minors) need consent, they should go get consent." However, Fong remained open to the idea of exempting grandparents from the restrictions. Boxer attacked Fong's position during a rally in Santa Monica, saying, "This is a terrible precedent to make it a crime when you go to another state for what is a legal health procedure. This is one nation, after all, under God." She added, "Anyone who says Roe vs. Wade ... was wrongly decided, that it's a states-rights issue, that there is no constitutional guarantee to privacy, is joining the extremists in Congress who have tried more than 100 times (to restrict) a woman's right to choose" (Perry, 10/16).
Airing Abortion Ads
Boxer "pummelled" Fong on his abortion stance in campaign ads airing this week, in which she calls him an "extremist" and emphatically states that he is not pro-choice. "The ad is Boxer's way to focus on issues where she believes Fong is out of step with most Californians; about two-thirds of California voters, including many Republicans, support abortion rights," the Copley News/San Diego Union- Tribune reports. The ad is also an attempt to direct voters' attention away from Boxer -- who polls suggest is a "polarizing figure" -- and onto campaign issues. "This isn't about personality, this is about the issues," Boxer said yesterday. The Copley/Union-Tribune reports that Fong, "who refuses to call himself 'pro-choice,' supports the right to abortion in the first trimester of a pregnancy, but no later except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the mother's health. ... But he wants several restrictions on abortion, including outlawing certain late-term procedures, ending government funding for abortions and requiring minors to get parental permission before having abortions" (Wilkie, 10/16). Click here for previous coverage of abortion in the Boxer-Fong race.