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James Young

Actually, at worst, it's 1972, when abortion on demand was illegal in all 50 (or is it 57?) states. It's a measure of the integrity of the pro-abortion argument that you have to misrepresent its opponents.

teabag mcgee

All 50 states? Really?

It's a measure of the intelligence of the anti-abortion argument that you can't even get your facts straight.


Hey Ben, highlight your “Macaca moment” for us where you accused Deeds of running a “Deliverance Tour” and insulting the people of western Virginia in the process, your feeble efforts to exclude them notwithstanding. Now that would be news, not this silly stuff….

Face it Ben, your candidate is behind in the polls, feckless, and imperiled by what you pals on Capitol Hill are doing to this nation. Spendulus, cap and tax, and Obama-care….all serving to drive the Democrat brand in the ground.

By they way, mock the Tea Parties and the Town Halls some more. In fact, do it a lot, like the clowns on MSNBC…

Mike Rothfeld

You are not on the side of goodness (a baby's life, for goodness sake; even if the father is a criminal bastard), nor on the side of the voting population (confer survey after survey on who votes on abortion and how) and, especially, not on the side of demographics (as young people, according to virtually all surveys), are MORE pro-life than the older generations.

What's really astonishing is that Deeds used to tell people privately that he was sincerely pro-life (and not in the Clinton weasel, ie meaningless, way).


Mike Rothfeld

Brian W. Schoeneman

Please. McDonnell's support for or against abortion makes absolutely no difference so long as the right to an abortion is protected by the Constitution. Unless McDonnell is appointed to the Supreme Court, there's nothing he can do about it.

So can we get back to issues that actually matter?


Amen. "Position" on abortion is completely different than actions. And as Brian mentions, there is little that a Governor can do post-Roe to restrict abortion.

What Deeds can argue is that McDonnell spends too much time on the margins of the abortion issue, to the detriment of more important legislation such as jobs and education.

Jeb Wilkinson

Bob is going to win. It's a GOP year.


Deeds abortion position is straight out of 1984.

Kevin in Arlington

WestEnd: I think you've heard some of that from Deeds. In his George Mason speech the other day I think he said something to the effect of 'My opponent sponsored 35 bills to restrict a woman's right to choose and 0 to spur job growth (or promote green jobs, or whatever).'

That can be an effective use of this issue in the campaign for Independents and undecideds. Also just last fall there was a strong sentiment among voters to move past the culture wars and an argument like the one you suggest could tap into those people as well.

Gretchen Laskas

Many people who are personally pro-life aren't comfortable with government intrusion into their personal decisions. (Sounds familiar Republicans???) So having a candidate who AGGRESSIVELY wants government in your doctor's office (McDonnell's position) is a worth talking about, no matter what the year.

Brian W. Schoeneman

Gretchen, it doesn't matter what Bob McDonnell wants regarding abortion, AGGRESSIVELY or otherwise, because he does not have the power to take away a woman's right to an abortion.

As one of the vocal minority in the GOP who doesn't think elections always need to be about abortion and gays, I have been urging the party to move away from these divisive social issues that cannot be resolved at the state level and back to issues that matter.

Can I get a little help over here? This is one area where bipartisanship should work pretty well.

Gretchen Laskas

Brian -- I don't disagree with you. Fighting the culture wars constantly is exhausting and dispiriting. But I'll be honest, I don't see any chance here in VA that it is likely to change any time soon. Let's be very cynical (and bipartisan) about it. It's about fundraising and voter turnout, for both sides.

That said, I'm all for any practical thing we can do to get along. I'm pro-choice, but after my son was out of the infant stage, I donated all of my baby supplies to a pregnancy crisis center. It would be nice if we talked about solving problems, but I'm not optimistic.

Meanwhile, I still think Dems need to win the election, and I also think that abortion is a viable (pardon the pun) discussion to have, no matter which side you're on.

Plus who can turn down the money and voter turnout?

(insert loop here)

Brian W. Schoeneman

Gretchen, for me, abortion is a luxury political issue - a luxury in that it's something to argue over when one has the time, but it's not something that can be resolved so it's really just an excuse to shout at someone you don't like.

Given the state of the economy, we don't have the luxury to be wasting time arguing abortion. We can do that when unemployment is low, the state's running a surplus, and it doesn't take me two hours to go 20 miles on 66.

I recognize the voter turnout and the money, but at some point we need to stop doing things that are unhealthy for democracy just because they are expedient. We have to start moving people to care about issue that matter again, not just issues that result in knee jerk emotional responses.

Both sides are guilty of it, both sides complain about it, but neither seems willing to stop the madness.

Gretchen Laskas

Hmm...I can't go so far as to say that I find the abortion discussion a luxury -- regardless of what side you're on, the decisions that are made because of it have long-term repercussions in too many people's lives.

Also, it would help of McDonnell hadn't linked so much of his political past on this actual issue -- oh, maybe not in actually accomplishing anything, but rhetorically. I'll be honest, I don't want to turn on the television and see the Virginia governor making statements about "death panels" and how Democrats have a "culture of death" and other nonsense like that. And can any of us, even the most passionate McDonnell supporter, say that he won't? Can any of us say that a decent percentage of his constitutions are supporting him so he will do this very thing?

And also, while Virginia hasn't had a president come out of the Commonwealth in most of our lifetimes, it remains a viable "farm league" for national politicians. Please don't tell me that McDonnell doesn't have national ambitions -- and that they aren't tied to the pro-life movement.

So I'll give you the point that it's mostly just a reason to shout, and cannot be resolved in any meaningful way. And I'm personally sorry that I can't give you the support and help you're looking for, even on a blog, let alone in a larger way. But I just can't. Not this year, with these particular candidates. Maybe that's simply weakness on my part, but after living through this health care debate, I just can't do otherwise. Rhetoric matters.

Gretchen Laskas

(grin) Sorry, and that should be constituents, not constitutions. (I'm a terrible speller and my spell checker is woefully inadequate!)

NoVA Scout

To me, the striking thing about this election is how unlike 2005 it is, even for McDonnell and Bolling, who ran then. Both of them won by a hair's-breadth and it seems to have scared the stuffing out of them. They are clearly abandoning the old trappings and trying to run centrist campaigns. This is smart politics and, so far, seems to be working. I am astounded (perhaps I shouldn't be) at how ineffectual the Democratic response has been and keep waiting for someone to start sniggering about all the nonsense that the GOP in Virginia has spouted prior to this new tactic. If I thought it genuinely reflected a turn toward pragmatic governance by the Rs, I would be thrilled. I'm waiting to see whether it's for real, or just a disguise to get elected.


You're right, Ben, keep focusing on abortion. It is THE MOST important issue for the voters of Virginia. Deeds needs to continue to focus solely on abortion. Let McDonnell go on and on with all these positions on issues like transportation, jobs, off shore drilling, and education. WE ALL know that abortion is where the real interest is, not all that other fluffy stuff.

Keep up that GREAT campaign on abortion!


Bob as gov would be able to effect a female's ability to obtain birth control and sex ed. taught to minors. It matters.



In 1962, Sherri Finkbine of San Francisco was pregnant with her 5th child. She had taken the drug Thalidomide to ease her morning sickness. The drug was not used as much here as in Europe.

The drug caused severe birth defects like babies born without arms and legs or with tiny limbs. It was a horror. Abortion was illegal - yes, even i California -. Finkbine tried all legal ways to get an abortion. No!

She wanted to go to Japan but was denied a visa. She finally went to Sweden, where she was able get an abortion after having gone through several legal steps. The fetus had no legs and one small arm. - She later gave birth to a baby girl.

In the 60s it was impossible to get an abortion anywhere in the US, except in the proverbial back alley, evidently.

JT writes: "Bob as gov would be able to effect a female's ability to obtain birth control and sex ed. to minors...." If so, I certainly hope he does all he can to make that happen.

Easily available birth control plus sex education starting no later than Jr High are important factors in keeping the abortion rate down.



Yes, I did rip that argument off of Deeds. But we have been discussing/developing it on BC for a while, after we came to seeming agreement that it was much more productive (and less dangerous) than attacking one's personal views, which cuts both ways. And the argument does resonate with me now, a Catholic who pretty much realizes that abortion law, one way or another, is not going to be affected much no matter who gets in.

Rtwng Extrmst


"She wanted to go to Japan but was denied a visa. She finally went to Sweden, where she was able get an abortion after having gone through several legal steps. The fetus had no legs and one small arm.

It's sad that people somehow believe that a person with no legs and one small arm are somehow less human than those bron with two legs and two arms.


Rtwng Extrmst - You are a male, arent you?

How'd YOU like to be without arms and legs?

Who'd care for you and wipe you clean after a visit to the toilet, give you a bath, feed you, dress you, etc. etc. after your mother dies?

You're still human, but in a way, you are NOT.

Gretchen Laskas

Oh for pity's sake, this is ridiculous.

There is a part of the human brain that will fight for its life almost at all costs. We know this through watching (and sometimes living through) stories of tremendous courage to survive. Those are important stories, and they shape who we are as human beings.

There is a part of the human brain that will allow the body to stop fighting. We know this because we write up living wills, we choose hospice care of "heroic" measures. Because most of us, when forced to think about our own deaths (I know, SCARY!!) would rather die in a "good" way than not. There are plenty of wonderful human stories on this subject to, which show our humanity.

And sometimes, just sometimes, we have to make those decisions for other people. We make them for our aged parents, or a sibling that has been horribly injured, and sometimes, under the most horrible of scenarios for anyone with any imagination at all, for a child, born or unborn.

But as long as both sides refuse to admit that this is also what makes us human, we're forced to deal with nonsense like I'm reading here.

James Young

Uh, "teabag," if you're going to attack me and suggest that I "can't even get [my] facts straight," you might want to bother to tell me how I was wrong. So empty your mouth from teabagging, and kindly do so.

Of course, as Roe v. Wade struck down laws restricting abortion in virtually every state, it is you who are "historically-challenged."


Abortion is an issue that still matters at the STATE level, not just the federal level. At the state level, the Governor can influence legislation that allows pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control or the morning after pill, impose restrictions on a minor's right to choose, enforce senseless waiting periods and other "scare away" counseling tactics like mandating a sonogram and forcing the woman to view it - stuff that isn't medically necessary or even advisable and is a waste of resources. Abortion providers can be charged with crimes if they fail to comply, which can be used as an intimidation tactic. It just goes on and on. This morning, I went to event to meet McDonnell and ask him about this issue. Specifically, I asked him abortion and the First Amendment - freedom of religion. He admitted that in over 20 years of being an attorney, he had never thought about it that way. That is inexcusable to me. He agreed that the bible and biblical law don't apply to everyone' not everyone in this state is a Christian, so anti-abortion laws based on "life begins at conception" are an affront to the freedom of religion of non-Christians. He admits his Catholic faith is influences his position, and also admits that it would be wrong to force that position, which is influences by his Catholic faith, on others. He stated to me that he would NOT do that if elected. That means he CAN'T be a so called "pro-life" governor and keep the promise that he made to me this morning. Either he lied to me this morning, or he is lying to his supporters. Somehow, I'm guessing I'll be the one who gets screwed if he's elected.

Rtwng Extrmst


"so anti-abortion laws based on "life begins at conception" are an affront to the freedom of religion of non-Christians."

Is this your logic or Bob's? Either way it's nonsense. How in the world do you connect the suggestion of life beginning at conception to automatically be a religious view? There's plenty of science to back up that position.

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