Texas Senator Hutchison May Run for Governor, But Perry Better on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
December 4, 2008
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — For Texans, the big political news of the day is that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has taken her first step towards making her gubernatorial bid official. If she runs, she would take on fellow Republican and incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, who is considered more pro-life on abortion.
Hutchison has established an exploratory committee and is transferring $1 million from the $8.7 million she currently has in her Senate campaign coffers.
She won her Senate seat in 1993 over more strongly pro-life candidates like Reps. Jack Fields and Joe Barton and has held the seat ever since.
In a contest between Hutchison and Perry, pro-life groups would likely side with the governor since he has proven his credentials and Hutchison, though she votes mostly pro-life, supports legalized abortion.
Hutchison reaffirmed her pro-abortion position in March 2003 with a vote in favor of an amendment to the partial-birth abortion ban supporting the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.
"It is the sense of the Senate that the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and such decision should not be overturned," the amendment read.
Hutchison has also upset pro-life advocates with her repeated votes in favor of embryonic stem cell research funding. That has held down her voting record scores from the National Right to Life Committee in recent years.
While Hutchison has voted for a myriad of abortion limits — everything from banning taxpayer funding of abortions, to enforcing parental notification to prohibiting partial-birth abortions — the stem cell votes dropped her to an 85 percent in this Congress and 75 percent in the previous session.
Hutchison’s views on bioethics played out in a feud with Perry as she called on him to put in place a plan to aggressively pursue state taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research.
One state pro-life advocate told LifeNews.com at the time that Hutchison also opposed a ban on all forms of human cloning.
"While we appreciate Senator Hutchison’s several pro-life votes in the U.S. Senate, she unfortunately remains in the pro-abortion and pro-cloning camp," Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life, said.
Perry, on the other hand, has won praise from pro-life advocates for signing measures to reduce abortions.
He is credited with helping reduce abortions and support parents by signing a bill requiring parents consent before a minor teen can have an abortions.
Perry also signed a bill that allows criminals to be prosecuted for killing or injuring unborn children during the course of an assault against a pregnant woman.
"Governor Perry’s signature on these pro-life bills marks history for Texas women, their health, and their unborn children," Elizabeth Graham, told LifeNews.com at the time.
Graham said Texas Right to Life worked closely with Perry on the legislation and the bills had his strong support throughout the legislative process.
"Governor Perry recognized the deficiency in Texas that the unborn children of pregnant women were not protected under Texas law," Graham explained.
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