California Candidates for Gov. Discuss Abortion in Debate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 3, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Candidates for Gov. Discuss Abortion in Debate

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 3, 2003

Sacramento, CA ( — Some of the leading candidates for Governor in California discussed abortion Wednesday night during a debate. Should voters decide to recall pro-abortion Gov. Gray Davis, one of the candidates could become the state’s next governor.

Before the debate began, pro-abortion actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was criticized by participants for avoiding it. Instead, Schwarzenegger gave a speech to supporters and college students at California State University, Long Beach.

Schwarzenegger literally got egg on his face when one member of the audience pelted him.

Meanwhile, during the debate, a moderator asked five of the leading candidates where they stood on abortion. Specifically, they were asked about a bill Davis signed declaring that abortion was a right under the privacy clause of the state constitution. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, some say the law would keep abortion legal in California.

State Sen. Tom McClintock, the leading pro-life candidate, said very clearly "I would have vetoed the bill." He also criticized the other candidates for their unwillingness to support even a ban on partial-birth abortions.

"Wherever we stand on the issue, we can agree that partial-birth abortion — the process of stabbing an infant as it is being born in the back of the head — is barbaric and ought to be stopped," McClintock said.

McClintock has the endorsement of the California Pro-Life Council.

Pro-abortion Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamente said he would have signed the legislation backing abortion into law.

"I would have signed it, I believe in a woman’s right to choose," Bustamente said. "it is between herself, her doctor, and her God."

Columnist Arianna Huffington said she would have signed the bill too. "As Governor I would oppose any restrictions on a woman’s right to choose."

Peter Camejo, of the Green Party, said he favored abortion and that the issue was rooted in separation of church and state.

Peter Ueberroth, the former baseball commissioner took a middle of the road position. He said he favored abortion but would not have signed the bill.