Monday, March 23, 2009

Moran Vote From 2003 Raises Questions About Position on Right to Choose

During the blogger dinner with Creigh Deeds, the Senator mentioned that he had the strongest pro-choice record of any candidate in the race, but he refused to be more specific, telling us to “look it up.”

So I did.

Here is what I found.

In 2003, Mr. Moran voted in favor of SB 1205, a bill that banned a certain abortion procedure, one characterized with the inaccurate and inflammatory name, “partial birth abortion.”  In fact, SB 1205 banned these abortions even in cases that endangered the life or health of the mother. Joining Mr. Moran in voting in favor of the bill, which eventually went on to become law, was none other than Taliban Bob McDonnell, the man Mr. Moran now claims wants to take us back to the last century, and the man Mr. Moran claims he will beat like a drum. And sponsoring the bill was our old friend, “Sideshow” Bob Marshall.

This draconian law completely undercut the philosophical underpinnings of a woman’s right to choose. If that right means anything, it means that the right or a woman (or any human being, for that matter) to control their own body and their own medical treatment is a matter for the person and their licensed health care provider to decide, completely independent of any ideologically mandated procedure enacted by a legislature acting out of political expediency.

And lest there be any doubt about the radical nature of the bill in favor of which Mr. Moran voted, it was never allowed to be enforced. It was too radical, apparently, even for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the more Conservative tribunals in the nation, which struck it down in 2005.

Even more shocking, last year the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Fourth Circuit to review the law again in light of a 2007 Supreme Court case upholding a federal ban on a similar procedure. But even applying this more permissive standard, the law could not pass Constitutional muster and the Fourth Circuit again struck it down as too restrictive, saying, “The Virginia Act imposes an undue burden upon a  woman’s right to choose a previability second trimester abortion.”

Attorney General Bob McDonnell was disappointed with the decision, the Washington Post said.

On his Web Site, Mr. Moran says the following about his record on reproductive rights: 

Brian believes that a woman, in consultation with her doctor, should have the right to make her own health care and reproductive decisions. He has consistently opposed unconstitutional infringements on a woman’s right to choose.

Does that statement squares with his vote in favor of SB 1205?

Mr. Moran should both explain his 2003 vote undercutting a woman’s right to choose, and the distortion of his record on his web site, currently.

Mr. Moran should also clarify his views on a woman’s right to choose. Would Mr. Moran again vote in favor of legislation that would put the Virginia General Assembly between a decision that properly belongs to a woman and her doctor?

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