California Effort to Recall Gov Davis Becomes Abortion Battle

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC


California Effort to Recall Gov Davis Becomes Abortion Battle

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 10, 2003

Sacramento, CA ( — Abortion supporters said Tuesday that fighting the campaign to recall pro-abortion Gov. Gray Davis (D) has eclipsed the state’s upcoming U.S. Senate race as their top political priority.

In a series of news conferences organized by Davis allies who are
fighting the recall, leaders from Planned Parenthood Affiliates
of California, the California Abortion Rights Action League and
other groups highlighted pro-life Congressman Darrell Issa’s (R)
opposition to abortion. Issa, is funding much of the recall
effort and plans to run for governor if it gets on the ballot.

"This is absolutely our top political priority. We need this
recall effort to fail to qualify and we’re calling on pro-choice
voters to boycott petitions," said Kathy Kneer, president and
chief executive of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

"Darrell Issa knows he would never win in a face-to-face race
with a pro-choice candidate, he needs a special election," she

Until recently, Kneer said, Planned Parenthood was concentrating
on working for pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA)
re-election next year. The group’s shift in focus is the latest
sign that a recall election is being viewed as a real possibility
and supporters and opponents are gearing up for a full-blown

Recall backers dismissed the effort.

"There are some people who are desperate to change the focus of
this recall away from Gray Davis’ record, and I don’t think it’s
going to work," said Dave Gilliard, director of Rescue California
Recall Gray Davis.

Recall supporters say they have collected nearly 600,000 of the
897,158 signatures they must submit by Sept. 2 to get the recall
on the ballot. They want to turn in the signatures next month to
force a special election in the fall.

Other Republicans considering running if the recall gets on the
ballot are actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and failed GOP
gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon. Sim takes a pro-life position
while Schwarzenegger supports abortion. Democrats could also run
but Kneer said abortion supporters did not favor such a scenario
splitting up the vote and would fight to keep Davis in office.

She claimed the California Planned Parenthood has 600,000
supporters and pledged to contact them by e-mail and phone to
mobilize them against the recall.

The California Pro-Life Council has endorsed the petition to
recall Governor Davis. To obtain a copy of their petition to
distribute, go to