Rhode Island Election Battles See Abortion Become a Campaign Issue

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Rhode Island Election Battles See Abortion Become a Campaign Issue Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 8
, 2006

Providence, RI (LifeNews.com) — Rhode Island voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the state’s primary election contest and two key races are seeing abortion become a dominant campaign issue. The contentious topic is playing a role in both the Republican Senate primary and a Democratic congressional campaign.

In the Senate race, pro-abortion Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a Republican, is the target of a telephone poll that is criticizing him for backing abortion.

The phone poll asks voters if they plan to cast ballots in the Tuesday primary. If they answer yes, and say they plan to vote for Chafee, they are told about the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure and informed that Chafee voted against a Congressional ban on it.

Chafee faces Cranston mayor Stephen Laffey, who says he has nothing to do with the poll.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Jennifer Lawless is attacking Rep. James Langevin, who she faces on Tuesday in the state’s second district. Langevin backs embryonic stem cell research but strongly opposes abortion.

Last weekend, Langevin said that voters in the district rarely come to him to talk about abortion and he told Channel 10 (WJAR) that they are more interested in other issues.

Lawless, who backs abortion, bashed Langevin in a Providence Journal interview and said, "They are not talking about the right to choose with you because they know they can’t count on you to protect it."

The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has endorsed Lawless in Tuesday’s Democratic primary against Langevin.

Langevin’s campaign spokeswoman, Joy Fox, told the Journal that his pro-life stance is based on personal experience and referred to the accidental shooting that left Langevin paralyzed at age 16.

"I think Rhode Islanders understand his position on this issue. His pro-life stance is shaped by his personal experience. Having come so close to losing his own life, he’s reminded every day how precious life is," he said.

The two are battling on television as well with Lawless running an ad with an abortion practitioner backing her and Langvin running one saying she is distorting his record on abortion.