Abortion-Rights Supporters Hold Rallies Against Campaign To Recall Davis
Abortion-rights supporters on Tuesday held rallies in San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento opposing a campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis (D), the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The recall effort is being led by abortion-rights opponent Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has donated nearly $700,000 to the campaign and plans to run for governor if supporters succeed in getting the recall on a special election ballot in November (Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11). Abortion-rights supporters led by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the California Abortion Rights Action League and other groups said that the issue has surmounted the state's upcoming U.S. Senate race as their top political priority, according to the AP/Contra Costa Times. Planned Parenthood recently shifted its focus from supporting Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) reelection campaign to the recall campaign, a sign that the recall is being viewed as a "real possibility," according to the AP/Mercury News (Werner, AP/Contra Costa Times, 6/11). The recall campaign has collected 160,000 of the 900,000 signatures needed by July 18 to place the recall on a special election ballot, and recall supporters say that they will successfully meet the deadline. "This recall effort is a stealth way for anti-choice Republicans to take over state government without going through a legitimate election," Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said at the San Francisco rally.
The groups are highlighting Issa's stance on abortion in an effort to mobilize female voters. In an unsuccessful 1998 campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, Issa said that he supported the Human Life Amendment, which would have amended the U.S. Constitution to ban abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11). "There are some people who are desperate to change the focus of this recall away from Gray Davis' record, and I don't think it's going to work," Dave Gilliard, director of Rescue California Recall Gray Davis, said, adding, "It's doesn't matter what position you have on abortion. You're hurt by a budget in $38 billion deficit; you're hurt by rising taxes; you're hurt because jobs are fleeing the state" (AP/Contra Costa Times, 6/11).