Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Should pro-choicers always vote democrat?

As you may know, Louisiana Govonor Kathleen Blanco signed a statewide ban on abortions, a “trigger law” that will take effect if (when?) Roe V Wade is overturned. So, this begs the question, how safe is it to vote democrat when some decide to renounce women’s rights in such a way? Should we always vote democrat? What’s better, a pro-life democrat or a pro-choice republican?

So, I’m going to look at this question purely from an abortion rights standpoint, ignoring other issues. The confirmation of Samual Alito to the Supreme Court will almost certainly tilt the court against abortion and women’s rights. His beliefs on abortion rights were extremely clear, and most people are convinced he would vote to overturn Roe V Wade.

Four democrats voted to confirm Alito: Bryd (W. Va), Conrad(ND), Johnson (SD) and Nelson (Neb). All four are either confirmed pro-life (Nelson) or have heavily pro-life leanings, according to NARAL rankings. All are also fairly conservative, from very conservative states. Senate minority leader Reid, however, while staunchly pro-life did vote against Alito, as did pro-life leaning democrats Landrieu and Pyror.

As for the republicans, only one republican Senator Chafee of Rhode Island, voted against Altio. He is one of four prominently pro-choice republicans, but the other three, Snowe, Collins and Spector, all voted for Alito.

Snowe especially has gotten endorsements and supports from pro-choice groups, but what good is that when she won’t vote pro choice when it counts? Votes were more along party lines on both sides than ideology. In addition, current NARAL rankings show that pro-life democrats have similar voting records on abortion to pro-chioce republicans, ironically enough, so these labels may not mean much. Which makes me think a pro-life democrat is a safer vote than a pro-choice republican, because, most often, they will follow the party lines.

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