Pro-Abortion Senator Won’t Back President Bush Over Pro-Life Record

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Senator Won’t Back President Bush Over Pro-Life Record

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The Bush administration is too pro-life for Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. As a result, the pro-abortion lawmaker won’t be backing President Bush in November.

"There is no secret that on some very important issues I have difference with the current administration," Chafee said, listing abortion as one of the issues on which he disagrees with the president.

The maverick Republican also says he strongly opposes President Bush’s position on embryonic stem cell research.

In August 2001, the president issued an executive order prohibiting federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research. However, the Bush administration has strongly supported the use of adult stem cells and have put $190 million of NIH funds behind such efforts.

Chafee said he wouldn’t vote for pro-abortion Democratic nominee John Kerry. Instead, he is considering writing in the name of another Republican.

The decision by the iconoclastic Republican doesn’t come as a surprise. Chafee has had issues with the Bush administration since the 2000 election on numerous political issues.

On abortion, Chafee has only a 9% pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee. During the most recent congressional session, he voted to endorse the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, he voted wrong on three different partial-birth abortion votes, and he supported using tax dollars to pay for abortions for military personnel.

Bush has compiled a strong pro-life voting record that has earned him the endorsement of numerous pro-life organizations. He is credited with signing three pieces of pro-life legislation, halting much taxpayer funding of abortion, and fighting against human cloning, assisted suicide and embryonic stem cell research.

On the other side of the political isle, pro-life Democrat Zell Miller, a Georgia senator and former governor, has endorsed the president and gave a keynote address at the Republican convention on Bush’s behalf.

Chafee’s vote won’t make much of a different in Rhode Island, a heavily Democratic state that the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign isn’t contesting.

However, it could cost him his seat in the Senate. The Providence Journal newspaper reports there is already talk in GOP circles in the northeastern state about a primary challenge in 2006.

Senator Chafee is the son of the late Republican icon Sen. John Chafee, who also voted pro-abortion during his tenure in office.