LUNGREN: Wants To Eliminate State Funding Of Abortions
"Attorney General Dan Lungren on Thursday said that if elected governor, he would seek to eliminate state-funded abortion services ... and restrict minors from obtaining state-funded birth control," the Sacramento Bee reports. A Lungren aide later said the candidate would veto any money in the state budget allocated for abortions. Lungren "said he is not against state-financed contraceptives as long as they are for adults only and 'distinguished from abortion services.'" However, he "specifically said he would oppose distribution of condoms in schools." Lungren's views are a departure from the Wilson administration's policy. Katherine Kneer, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, noted that "575,000 low-income women, 21% of them 19 or younger, received contraceptives last year."
Lungren said he would model his family planning approach on the policies pursued by former Gov. George Deukmejian, "his political mentor." The Bee notes that Deukmejian "ignited controversy in mid-1989 when he vetoed two-thirds of the state Office of Family Planning budget," arguing that the clinics "should be limited to birth-control counseling for poor women." Kneer said, "I think it's troubling for [Lungren] to say that he would return to the Deukmejian era of family planning. When the public was aware of his policy, there was a huge backlash against it" (Smith, 2/27).