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Tonight in Texas, the Republican Gubernatorial debate took place at the University of North Texas in Denton. Participating were Governor Perry, Senator Hutchison and Debra Medina. There were a number of highlights and lowlights – but suffice it to say, it was pretty clear that Senator Hutchison is of Washington and Governor Perry is of Texas.
The most important, and telling, exchange occurred between the questioners and Hutchison on the issue of abortion. The transcript below is UNOFFICIAL, transcribed by yours truly sitting in front of the DVR. If I set out to just make up a muddled, irresponsible, dishonest and flat-out offensive answer, I doubt I could have come up with a better one than this endorsement of Roe v. Wade by Senator Hutchison (of course, it’s not the first time – see her previous vote here for language saying Roe v. Wade is Constitutional and should not be overturned, language that Democrat Leader Harry Reid voted against) .
In short – she says Roe v. Wade should not be overturned because it would turn some states into an “abortion haven…”
See below – the transcript speaks for itself:
Dave Montgomery (Forth Worth Star-Telegram): Yes, Senator Hutchison, could you clarify your position on abortion tonight? Uh, specifically, do you believe that Roe v. Wade should remain in force or be reversed as the state Republican Party advocates in its platform?
Senator Hutchison: Let me say that my record is one of always coming down on the side of life. In my record in the Senate, I have voted against partial birth abortion, federal funding of abortion, parental consent restrains… I mean more parental consent restraints on abortion without parental consent… I have promoted adoption and if I am Governor of Texas, I will do everything I can to limit, lower the number of abortions in this state and promote adoption. We don’t want unwanted pregnancies, that’s not good for anyone.
If Roe, uh… Talking about the Supreme Court of the land, we have had restrictions on abortion that have become the law of the land, and I think that’s good. I don’t want abortion havens. I don’t want to have freedom so that some states would allow partial-birth abortion. And there are states that have actually had referendums that have said they would want to have partial-birth abortions. So yes, that scares me.
Dave Montgomery: Uh, but still, your position on abortion is giving some discomfort to Republican activists in your party who take a pretty strong position on reversing Roe v. Wade. Do you believe it should remain in effect or be reversed?
Hutchison: What concerns me about that is that we would then have some states that would allow abortion as the baby is coming out of the birth canal. And I would never support that. I have voted against it. I don’t want that to be in any state in our country, and that is the reason that I have stated that position.
Moderator Shelley Kofler: So you would not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade?
Hutchison: What I am saying is… [audience laughter]… if it is overturned, you are going to have abortion havens.
Kofler: Is there a yes or a no to this?
Hutchison: Look, I am just telling you why I’m concerned about, um, having it overturned and then having abortion havens all over our country.
Montgomery: Are you saying if it’s overturned it will lead to black market abortions, essentially?
Hutchison: Legal. Legal abortions. That’s what concerns me. I think you are looking at a whole… Right now we have restrictions that are quite reasonable that are the law of the land.
Montgomery: So, keep Roe v. Wade on the books.
Hutchison: Well, I think you have to look at what happens if… if it goes away. Then every state is allowed to do whatever its state legislature passes, and we know there are states that will allow abortion under any circumstances including partial-birth abortion.