Davis Leaves Abortion Issue Off Democratic Governors’ Agenda
Gov. Gray Davis (D), who made abortion rights a "cornerstone" of his 1998 election campaign, on Monday failed to mention the subject at the annual Democratic Governors Association Conference, the Los Angeles Times reports. As chair of the association, Davis "set forth an agenda to elect Democratic candidates for governor that makes no mention of abortion." His platform, titled "real solutions that work for families," focuses on education, crime prevention, access to health care, balanced budgets and tax cuts, the Times reports. Such a platform "delight[ed]" other Democratic governors, "some of whom oppose abortion." Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) said, "Our business here is to elect governors. It is not to set national policies." Dean added: "If we have a candidate who is pro-life, we're going to support that candidate. If we want to win in a state like Mississippi or North Dakota, we are going to have to have candidates in the mainstream in those states. That may not be the same thing as being in the mainstream in California." Meanwhile, Davis said he is not "softening" his support for abortion rights, adding, "My views have not and will not change." But on a national scale, he is "advocating" policies that "all Democratic governors can embrace," the Times reports. Davis said, "Like any association of disparate people, the governors' association operates on a theory of unanimity, so we try to find common ground ... and the principals articulated achieve that goal" (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 2/28).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.