Georgia Senate Candidates Continue Abortion Fight, Eye Pro-Life Endorsements
by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2004
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Organizations on both sides of the abortion issue are getting involved in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat of outgoing pro-life Senator Zell Miller (D-GA), although two candidates say they are more pro-life than the other.
Rep. Michael "Mac" Collins (R-GA) and Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) both say they are proud to be pro-life, but Rep. Isakson’s frequent votes backing abortion has earned him support from the pro-abortion group Republicans for Choice.
According to Collins’ campaign, Federal Election Commission records show that Rep. Isakson received a $1,000 contribution from Republicans for Choice following his May 2003 vote to require taxpayer-funded abortions at military hospitals. Records also show he received an additional $2,500 from the group in the 2000 election cycle.
Collins noted that other pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood and the Republican Main Street Partnership have also endorsed Isakson.
Meanwhile, Daniel Becker, Georgia Right to Life Political Action Committee chairman, told LifeNews.com that he was misquoted in a March 25 article from the The Hill, a Washington newspaper that focuses on Congress. The article stated Becker "has confidence in Isakson, even though the congressman supports abortion rights in the case of rape or incest."
"I made no such statement," said Becker. "Moreover, I have publicly stated that Georgia Right to Life PAC will not consider any candidate that alleges that a child should be aborted based solely on its manner of conception. Anyone who knows my passion for this fact knows that I place no confidence in any candidate that is unwilling to acknowledge the moral necessity of protecting innocent children conceived through rape or incest."
The article further erred by inferring that Becker would work with the Isakson campaign, as Georgia Right to Life’s PAC director.
"Our bylaws prevent us from working with his campaign because he does not yet meet our minimum criteria," explained Becker.
While the National Right to Life PAC has not yet weighed in on the race or its candidates, Concerned Women of America’s PAC has endorsed Collins.
"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-sponsorsed almost every piece of important legislation NRLC identified.
"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."
While Isakson has worked to pass some pro-life legislation, 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 voted 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 pro-life voting record has improved — 90% for the current session of Congress according to NRLC — up from 68% in the 106th Congress.
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.