SENATE RACE: Boxer, Fong Hammer Each Other On Abortion Stance
The issue of abortion "has moved center stage" in the already contentious California U.S. Senate race, "with Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Matt Fong sniping at each other in a pair of new television ads," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Boxer is "slam[ming] Fong as an opponent of a woman's right to choose and a pawn of conservative Republicans seeking to ban abortion," while Fong is countering by denying that "he is opposed to all abortions and argues that Boxer favors 'indiscriminate' late-term abortions" (Wildermuth, 10/15). The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Boxer "has seized on earlier statements in which Fong expressed opposition to Roe vs. Wade." Yesterday, at a meeting with Asian-American leaders in San Diego, Boxer said, "There's no such thing as pro-choice unless you support the one (decision) that guarantees a woman's right to choose" (Ainsworth/Wilkie, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/14). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that while Fong has called the Roe vs. Wade decision "wrongly decided," he has said he would not oppose it. The paper also notes that "Fong's spot comes as something of a surprise, since [he] has attempted to dodge the abortion issue throughout his political career." Fong spokesperson Steve Schmidt said, "We will not allow Barbara Boxer to distort Matt Fong's position on abortion and scare the women of California" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/15).
NARAL Talks Too
The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League also launched TV ads that highlight Fong's stance on abortion, as well as the position held by gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren (R). The text:
- "Some things just go together naturally. On denying a woman her right to choose, Dan Lungren and Matt Fong are a perfect match. Like two peas in a pod, Lungren and Fong oppose the Supreme Court's decision to legalize abortion. Lungren and Fong would take away a woman's right to choose. Lungren and Fong would even deny abortion when the women's health is at risk. Lungren would even ban abortions for women who are victims of rape and incest. Dan Lungren and Matt Fong -- Anti-Choice. But remember, everyone has a choice."
NARAL President Kate Michelman said, "It is essential that Californians know just how dangerous these candidates are when it comes to reproductive freedom and the reproductive health of Californian women." She added, "Both men are decidedly anti-choice and Californians deserve to know the truth." The ads began airing yesterday and will run through the election (NARAL release, 10/14). Click here for previous coverage of this race. 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.