Thursday, February 23, 2006

Candidates for Governor on Reproductive Rights

The Dallas Morning News has an article outlining the major candidates for governor (Bell, Friedman, Gammage, Perry and Strayhorn) and their views on reproductive rights. Read it here. It begins:
Both sides on the abortion issue have looked to the future and agree on a scenario: Individual states will probably decide its legality.
Chris Bell's campaign has been critical of Bob Gammage over his votes in the 1970's to restrict public funding of abortion, including his 1977 vote in favor of the Hyde amendment. Gammage has since stated he feels those votes were a mistake. In their responses to questions posed by the Dallas Morning News, however, there were no significant differences in their stated views on reproductive rights issues. The most interesting responses came from Carole Strayhorn. A sample:
Should Roe vs. Wade be overturned?
Bell:
No. We need to reduce the number of abortions in Texas by reducing unwanted pregnancies. Gov. Rick Perry's policies have failed to reduce abortions, which have increased under his administration.
Friedman: No....I'm running for governor, not God.
Gammage: Absolutely not. A woman's right to choose is a fundamental and core right that should and must be maintained.
Perry: The final disposition of Roe vs. Wade is up to Congress or the courts.
Strayhorn: I believe in the sanctity of life.
[snip]

Should pharmacists be allowed to refuse to dispense the "morning-after" pill?
Bell:
No. The morning-after pill is birth control. Doctors and patients should make health care decisions, not insurance companies, pharmacists and cynical politicians.
Friedman: No. They should follow the laws.
Gammage: No. They are licensed by the state and have a duty to provide services to those who possess a prescription and are legally entitled.
Perry: Yes, if it violates their conscience, they should not be forced to dispense such a pill.
Strayhorn: Declined to answer.

Should schools limit discussion of pregnancy prevention to abstinence-only?
Bell:
Obviously, abstinence should play a prominent role in sex education. But we need to give our kids the age-appropriate, medically accurate information they need to keep from getting pregnant in the first place.
Friedman: No. The more education, the better. Lack of education is a big part of the problem.
Gammage: No. We should provide genuine education and engage in dialogue that informs our children of the facts, the dangers, the morality and the responsibility that comes with growing up.
Perry: Abstinence is the surest way of preventing unintended pregnancies and should be taught as such.
Strayhorn: Declined to answer.

Hmm, when faced with difficult questions on sensitive issues, Ms. Strayhorn sticks to her talking points or declines to answer. Now we know where Scottie gets it.

1 comment:

Bradley Bowen said...

Should abortion be legal in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the woman?

Bell: Yes.
Friedman: Of course.
Gammage: Without question.
Perry: Yes.
Strayhorn: I know there are those extraordinarily tough circumstances where heartbreaking choices have to be made.

I thought this question was interesting. While the other four candidates, including Republican Governor Rick Perry, said that abortion should be legal in the limited cases, Strayhorn again sidestepped the issue. She said that she understands "those extraordinarily tough circumstances" but she did not necessarily say she supports abortion in those cases.

I also thought it telling that Perry's campaign manager completed the interview for him. The Governor can't take a few minutes out of his busy day to answer five questions from one of the biggest newspapers in Texas during a heated election year?

Anyway, this interview really diminishes Carole Keeton Strayhorn's reputation in my personal opinion. I had hoped that she was going to run in the primaries and hopefully be able to beat out Rick Perry just so we wouldn't have to deal with him anymore. She has really lowered her chances by running as an independent unless she really gets on the Perry-attack wagon from now until November. I have seen a few commercials, but she has really failed so far in proving herself to be a real candidate. Declining to answer questions really isn't helping spread her views to the voting public.