Specter Claims Toomey Isn’t Pro-Life on Abortion in Penn. Senate Race

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 13, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Specter Claims Toomey Isn’t Pro-Life on Abortion in Penn. Senate Race

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
November 13, 2003

Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life leaders in Pennsylvania say pro-abortion Senator Arlen Specter has launched a smear campaign against his Republican pro-life opponent, Congressman Pat Toomey.

Ironically, Specter, who is an ardent supporter of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion, is claiming that Toomey is not really pro-life. The effort is apparently an attempt to stop pro-life voters from pulling the lever for Toomey in the April Republican primary.

"The entire thing is obviously just disingenuous," Toomey told the Express-Times newspaper. "Specter knows that I’m pro-life. He’s militantly pro-choice. He knows that that’s the case. And he knows that it’s a problem for him in the Republican primary."

The Specter campaign is circulating a memo which calls into question Toomey’s pro-life credentials. The memo states that, in 1998, Toomey cast himself as the only Republican candidate in his Congressional race that supported legal abortion. At the time, Toomey said that abortion should be legal if completed in the first trimester of pregnancy.

But, pro-life leaders say that, once he was shown the truth about abortion, he became pro-life–and he’s never looked back.

“Toomey is committed to the pro-life cause," said Mary Beliveau, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “Through ultrasound, through his study of the human cloning issue, and through his own diligence to learn what abortion really is, his position on abortion evolved."

"Toomey posted a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the last Congress. He is, in fact, the only pro-life candidate in the race for the U.S. Senate," Beliveau added.

According to pro-life leaders, Specter’s memo is all the more unseemly because it appears to be a deliberate effort to confuse voters. Pro-life voters want to be sure that the candidate they’re backing will be faithful to the cause of life. Specter seems to be suggesting that Toomey is no more pro-life than he is — a blatant lie, according to Toomey.

Pro-life activists note that Specter’s voting record on abortion is abysmal.

He has continually voiced his support for keeping abortion legal, despite a strong pro-life constituency within his state. Some fellow Republicans have even nicknamed Specter a “RINO," which stands for, “Republican in Name Only." They have said that Specter cannot be counted on in efforts to win Senate confirmation of judicial nominees.

Some analysts also note that Specter’s attacks on Toomey indicate that the veteran U.S. Senator might actually be worried that the pro-life Congressman will pull an upset.