Friday, August 20, 2010

Tom Horner's stance on abortion, the right to life

Tom Horner is the Independence Party candidate for governor. Where does he stand on human life?

Because he has never held public office, Horner has no record on abortion and other right-to-life issues. But he addressed abortion earlier this year in his campaign for governor.

He said abortion is a federal issue, not one for the states to decide. According to ECM Capitol Reporter T.W. Budig, Horner claimed that "state laws pertaining to abortion have less to do with abortion than driving political wedges."

Horner said he does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court decision that legalized abortion on demand nationwide. He also said he supports continuing state funding of abortion, and that he would not have signed the Woman's Right to Know informed consent law.

Tom Horner supports abortion on demand.
(Woman's Right to Know was passed in 2003 to ensure that women considering abortion receive basic factual information about the risks and alternatives. More than 10,000 women who have received this vital information have decided against abortion.)

Horner hopes to draw votes away from pro-life candidate Tom Emmer by positioning himself as a "centrist." In response to pro-life criticism of his abortion stance, a May 12 statement by Horner's campaign manager claimed the following:
Horner has offered a clear position. He opposes abortion and would reduce abortions through more effective sex education with an emphasis on abstinence, access to health services including contraception and dealing with the underlying issues such as poverty.
But it is unclear in what sense Horner "opposes abortion," since by defending Roe v. Wade, he wants to prevent Minnesotans from being able to enact any significant restrictions on the practice. He even opposes commonsense, bipartisan measures such as Woman's Right to Know, and he favors using taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortions—a proven means of increasing the number of abortions.

"If a candidate opposes Woman's Right to Know and wants to force taxpayers to buy other people's abortions, he is clearly not 'in the middle' on the abortion issue—he is pro-abortion," said Scott Fischbach, MCCL executive director.

In the general election on Nov. 2, Horner faces pro-abortion DFL candidate Mark Dayton and pro-life Republican Tom Emmer, who has a long record in support of the right to life.