Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tribune Skates Abortion Debate

Saturday's Tribune editorial points out gubernatorial hopeful Judy Baar Topinka's rather compromised position on abortion rights. The Tribune does a great job of boosting Topinka's position without really adding anything to the discussion or debate.

Topinka, who generally supports abortion rights, says she also supports parental consent laws and a ban on "partial birth abortions."

Interestingly, the Tribune tries to put Topinka in the mainstream, but according to their own poll, only 24% of Illinoisans share her view that "abortion should be legal but with tighter restrictions".

The Tribune says:

If she and Blagojevich face each other, Illinois will have an interesting debate about abortion rights, and about where the great middle really resides.
I doubt it.

First, there will be a debate on abortion and equal rights for gay Americans in Illinois in 2006, but that debate will be wholly within the Republican Primary voters.

Secondly, you never have a very useful public policy debate over abortion in a campaign. It will be purely sound bites, and middle ground positions on abortion don't lend themselves well to soundbites.

Finally, if Topinka does make it to th General Election, the debate over abortion will be very one-sided. That's because Topinka will surely alienate absolute abortion opponents in the primary, meaning she'll need every pro-choice Republican with her in the General Election and won't be able to risk attacking Blagojevich for his pro-choice views. But you can bet that Democrats will remind those voters that while Topinka may be more moderate than Tom DeLay and Alan Keyes when it comes to abortion, she still supports further abortion restrictions that would fundamentally undermine a woman's privacy and her right to choose.

Ironically, the Tribune, while inviting public debate on abortion rights, ducked the debate by failing to take a position on parental consent or "partial birth abortion" bans.

I'd love to hear where the bloggers stand on those two specific issues.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  12:10 AM  

Abortion will be a non-issue in a general if the nominee is Judy Bar Topinka. Blagojevich will try and make it an issue but it will not work. More people want partial birth abortion bans (which Blagojevich supported), and some restrictions like parental notice and not have taxpayer funding BUT are generally pro-choice. That is the Topinka position. Blagojevich will get no traction on this issue and it will not be a focus in the fall because both presumed or probably nominees (with due respect to Eisendrath with the Dems and the Repub candidates and I also like Brady and Rauschenberger) of Blagojecivh and Topinka are generally pro-choice.

leopoldbloom 9:40 AM  

I'd be interested to know whether GOP consultant and Trib pal Paul Lis is doing any work for the anointed one.

Anonymous,  8:38 PM  

The great middle is more with Topinka than Blagojevich on this one.

Topinka is no pro-lifer.

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