Former Sen. George Allen, who is trying to recapture the Senate seat he lost six years ago, defeated a handful of Republican opponents to capture the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race this November.
Allen bested tea party leader Jamie Radtke of Chesterfield, state legislator Bob Marshall and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson and he now faces Democratic former Gov. Tim Kaine. While Kaine calls himself pro-life on abortion, he opposes limits on abortions that Allen would support in the Senate.
Allen’s victory sets up a marquee matchup between the two in a race that could help determine whether Republicans recapture the Senate and have the ability to confirm or deny Supreme Court judges who would essentially be able to make abortion policy for the next 40 years. The race also has national implications as pro-abortion President Barack Obama and his pro-life opponent Mitt Romney will be fighting hard to win Virginia and the candidates could help determine whether Republicans or Demcorats turn out more strongly.
On the right to life, the contrast between Kaine and Allen could not be starker. Running for election in the traditionally Republican-leaning state of Virginia, Kaine does not hesitate to call himself pro-life, citing a “faith-based” opposition to abortion. However, his record indicates the contrary. Holly Smith, Chair of the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, said this about Kaine in National Right to Life News:
“Tim Kaine’s conciliatory rhetoric on abortion masks positions consistent with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations. Despite voicing support for banning partial-birth abortions, Kaine supported a ‘health exception,’ which is the loophole pro-abortion leaders sought to keep abortion unrestricted. He also would have opposed Virginia’s recently passed clinic regulations that ensure that freestanding abortion facilities meet the same standards for safety and cleanliness as other medical facilities.”
Kaine has also stated he opposes overturning Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion-on-demand. It is not a stretch to say that in the US Senate, Kaine would likely vote to confirm justices to the Supreme Court who share his support for the Roe decision.
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George Allen, however, has an outstanding pro-life record, earning a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee during his six years in the US Senate. Conversely, Allen earned a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Notably, as a US Senator, Allen voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, to ban embryonic stem cell research and to affirm the pro-life Mexico City Policy, which prevented taxpayer funding of abortion abroad.
Virginia is quickly taking on the role of bellwether state in 2012. Echoing national trends in 2010, Virginia may be an indicator for the future of the White House and the US Senate in 2012.