CALIFORNIA: Number of Antiabortion Candidates Increases on Ballots
More than one-third of state Senate and Assembly candidates in California oppose abortion rights, according to the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Moreover, 70% of candidates listed in CARAL's 2000 Primary Voter Guide, which was distributed recently to thousands of members and abortion-rights activists, "have reproductive rights positions that are anti- choice, mixed or unknown," the group reports. Candidates were asked about a range of reproductive health issues, including their positions on hospital mergers, fetal tissue research, and "extending personhood to a fetus." CARAL Executive Director Belle Taylor-McGhee said that such "issues are crucial in today's legislative and public policy debates and they have serious ramifications for women's reproductive health." Of the 152 candidates profiled in the voter guide, 26% are "pro-choice," a slight decrease from 1998. By contrast, the number of antiabortion rights candidates has increased by 20% since 1998. CARAL, which said it will issue another 2000 Voter Guide prior to the general election, has posted its voter guide on its Web site, at www.caral.org (CARAL release, 3/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.