Virginia Senate Republican Candidates Marshall, Gilmore Spar Over Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Senate Republican Candidates Marshall, Gilmore Spar Over Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 8,

Richmond, VA ( — Just days after he announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s open Senate seat, Delegate Bob Marshall, a top pro-life advocate in the Virginia state legislature, went after former Gov. Jim Gilmore. He says Gilmore is not sufficiently pro-life on abortion.

Gilmore supports legalized abortions but has a strong record on minor pro-life issues such as parental notification, partial-birth abortion, and making sure taxpayer funds aren’t used to pay for abortions.

Marshall said on Monday part of the reason he is running is because Gilmore backs abortion.

"I am the only candidate in this race that will protect the right to life of unborn children," Marshall said.

He also contended Gilmore is ignoring the pro-life community in the state which, he says, constitutes a base of voters that can propel a candidate to victory.

"Not wanting to have the right-to-lifers behind him is an insuperable handicap," Marshall said.

Ana Gamonal, a spokeswoman for Gilmore, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he’s largely going to ignore Marshall’s attacks.

"Our focus and priority at this point is in defeating Mark Warner," she said.

Pro-abortion former Gov. Mark Warner is the likely Democratic nominee and is listed as a favorite by most political observers.

On the money front, he had $1,017,000 on hand and Gilmore and Marshall would have to work overtime to catch him.

Last year, Marshall put forward a bill to put in place strong regulations on abortion businesses that could have closed some of the ones in Virginia.

Any abortion facility that performs more than 25 abortions per year would have been required to meet the same standards as any legitimate ambulatory surgery center had the measure been approved. Pro-life groups backed the measure.

When he was governor, Gilmore secured passage of a bill that would allow women 24 hours to reflect on information about abortion’s risks, alternatives and fetal development. Similar laws have reduced abortions in other states. He also signed a bill that would allow for parental notification.