Pro-Lifers Win Governors' Races, Democratic Presidential Candidates Continue To Court Pro-Abortion Supporters
By Carol Tobias, NRL Political Director
Pro-lifers enjoyed a huge victory November 4 in Kentucky as pro-life Congressman Ernie Fletcher (R) was elected governor over his pro-abortion opponent, Attorney General Ben Chandler (D).
In a tough race that pundits predicted would be extremely close on election day, Fletcher prevailed by an impressive 55%-45% margin. He succeeds retiring pro-abortion Gov. Paul Patton (D).
Much of Chandler's campaign was geared toward linking Fletcher to President George W. Bush, especially on economic issues. Rather than hurting Fletcher, the connection helped him. President Bush made two campaign stops in Kentucky the Saturday before the election and energized Fletcher's voters.
In Mississippi, pro-life Lt. Governor Amy Tuck (R) was re-elected, defeating pro-abortion state Sen. Barbara Blackmon (D). Tuck's victory was an overwhelming 61%-37%. Abortion was a major issue in the lieutenant governor's race.
Also in Mississippi, pro-life challenger Haley Barbour (R), former chairman of the Republican National Committee, defeated incumbent Gov. Mike Musgrove (D) who also took a pro-life position.
President Bush also made campaign stops in Mississippi to help Barbour's efforts. Almost 100,000 more votes were cast this year over the last gubernatorial election. Barbour is only the second Republican to win that seat in almost 130 years, carrying the state by a margin of 53%-45%.
On November 15, voters in Louisiana will elect a governor. They will choose between two pro-life candidates: Bobby Jindal (R), a former Bush Administration official, and Lt. Governor Kathleen Blanco (D).
Democratic Presidential Candidates Continue Attack
As the nine candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President continue their campaigns, they seem to be making the most of every opportunity to attack President Bush's pro-life policies. They're also eager to show pro-abortion organizations that they will be leaders against unborn children if elected to the White House.
Several candidates attacked President Bush for signing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry issued a statement, saying "President Bush has signed legislation that takes a step backwards for women as his stealth agenda to roll back the right to choose is pushed forward."
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman stated, "When I am President, I will do all I can to undo this bill." North Carolina Senator John Edwards declared, "When I am president, I will protect a woman's right to choose and put her privacy and health ahead of political ideology."
Expressing his outrage at the signing, former Vermont governor Howard Dean stated, "As this controversy moves to the judicial system, we are reminded anew of the importance of electing a pro-choice president next year."
Retired General Wesley Clark repeated false claims by abortion supporters, saying that the bill "sacrifices the health and safety of American women."
Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt did not issue a statement following the President's signing. Earlier on MSNBC's Hardball, Gephardt said that if he were President, he would not sign the bill.
Six of the candidates - - former senator Carol Moseley Braun, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) appeared at a forum sponsored by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. They again made very clear their unwavering support for abortion on demand.
The candidates also expressed their opposition to President Bush's ban on federal funding of research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Dean and Kucinich expressed their support for human cloning for research purposes.
In separate campaign events, Gephardt, Kerry, and Lieberman have expressed their support for embryonic stem cell research.
During an interview over the Internet, sponsored by the Washington Post and the (New Hampshire) Concord Monitor, Gephardt was asked if he would "overturn the federal ban on new stem cell lines for research." He responded, "I will overturn the ban on new stem cell line research and I will increase funding for such research."
In an interview with Associated Press, Lieberman stated, "The day I walk into the Oval Office, the first thing I'm going to do is rescind the Bush administration restrictions on stem-cell research.''
Kerry made the same claim in a speech at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, pledging, "As President, I will end George Bush's block on stem cell research."