Georgia Republican Senate Primary Heating Up Over Abortion
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
March 19, 2004
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Two congressmen from Georgia have thrown their hats into the ring in the Republican senate primary and each is claiming to be the most pro-life candidate. The winner will replace pro-life Democratic Sen. Zell Miller.
Rep. Michael "Mac" Collins (R-GA) and Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) both say they are proud to be pro-life, although there is some difference in how they’ve handled their legislative duties.
"I have a 100% voting record to protect innocent life," said Collins, a statement that is backed up by voting records from the National Right to Life Committee. Collins co-sponsorship of almost every important legislation identified by the national pro-life organization.
"I have a deep respect for life, and a voting record that reflects that respect," counters Isakson on his website. "I am personally opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother. I strongly support President Bush’s view that we need to create a culture of life in America. A key step in this process is appointing federal judges who understand that laws are made in the Congress, not in the courthouse."
Indeed, Isakson has worked to pass some pro-life legislation, but his voting record also shows some instances where he has differed with the pro-life community.
Isakson co-sponsored legislation to suspend and review the abortion drug RU-486 and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
But his otherwise pro-life voting record is marked by his votes against President Bush’s Mexico City policy, against a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions in military medical facilities, and for the use of taxpayer funding to research abortion drugs such as RU-486.
His voting record has improved — 90% pro-life for the current session of Congress according to NRLC — up from 68% in the 106th Congress. However, Planned Parenthood of Georgia considers Isakson a "mixed" record candidate, voting on both sides of the abortion issue.
Neither the National Right to Life Committee nor Georgia Right to Life have decided whether they will endorse any of the primary candidates.
Other candidates for the Republican spot are Herman Cain, a former president of Godfather’s Pizza, and businessman Al Bartell.
Cain is also pro-life. "I believe life is sacred. From conception to the grave, this Nation must continue to have a genuine respect for the sanctity of life," the business executive says on his web site.
Democratic candidates so far are state representatives Mary Hodges Squires (D-Norcross) and Nadine Thomas (D-Decatur).
Planned Parenthood of Georgia has referred to Squires as a legislator favorable to their agenda, and Georgians for Choice referred to Thomas as one of the "strong loud voices" in the Georgia legislature for their cause.