UTAH, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortion is among the issues taking center stage in the battle for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, with a Democratic challenger taking umbrage at being labeled pro-abortion even though he favors keeping the practice legal.
Republican incumbent Mia Love is running for reelection against Democratic challenger Ben McAdams, the mayor of Salt Lake County. RealClearPolitics currently ranks the close race as a toss-up for the 2018 midterms elections.
Love has a 100% pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Salt Lake Tribune reports that she’s made the issue a highlight of the differences between herself and McAdams.
McAdams wants to promote “unrestricted abortion and use your money to pay for it,” Love charged at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention in April, where she also quoted one of her daughters as declaring that “if you’re a country that decides that you’re going to kill our babies, you are pretty much good for nothing.”
“There is not one person that [doesn’t] know that one of the most important things I’ve ever done out there [in Congress] is I have been unapologetically pro-life,” Love told the Tribune. “And my stance has always been the same: No abortions; to protect life at all stages of development, except in cases of rape, incest or life of a mother.”
McAdams claimed that Love was “distorting my position and my record,” insisting he’s every bit as supportive of “what we can do to promote the sanctity of life.” He has also said he would oppose Nancy Pelosi as House Leader, though Love notes that his opposition would be irrelevant in a majority-Democrat chamber.
In April, Pelosi said she was willing to back pro-life Democrats because their party affiliation would still count toward putting House and committee leadership positions in pro-abortion hands.
“I think abortion is far too common in America, and we should be taking steps to reduce abortion,” McAdams told the Tribune. “A lot of that is through education and greater access to contraception, but I think there are a lot of steps that I would support to reduce the number of abortions.”
The Love campaign disputes McAdams’ pro-life credentials, noting that as a state senator he voted against legislation to enact a 72-hour waiting period on abortions, as well as a bill recognizing health workers’ right to refuse to participate in abortions. The Tribune found that he also voted against an ultrasound requirement and a bill mandating random clinic inspections.
McAdams claims he was not voting against the bills’ stated intentions, but separate defects in the “poorly drafted” legislation that he “would have liked to see addressed.”
Ultimately, however, he confirmed in an April interview with the Tribune that when he claims to be “pro-life,” he means the familiar “personally pro-life” formulation and ultimately supports keeping abortion legal.
“Reducing the number of abortions starts with access to education about reproductive health and contraception,” McAdams told the Tribune’s Holly Richardson. But “decisions about terminating a pregnancy should [be] made by a woman in consultation with her physician, family members and faith counselors she trusts.”
Invoking sex education and birth control as a more effective means of reducing abortion than prohibition is a common tactic among abortion defenders. But, pro-lifers argue that the actual result of promoting both has resulted in an increase of unwanted pregnancy by encouraging casual sex.
“I’m a mom. I’ve gone through miscarriages, which have been horrible for me and for my family,” Love stressed. “And there are so many people that are looking for beautiful children to be able to bring into their homes and into this world, and I think that we lose our potential and we have less” when abortion is legal.”
Pro-life activists have warned that Democrats currently hold a significant advantage over Republicans in party registration going into the November elections, in which Democrats hope to at least take the House, stymying pro-life and pro-family legislative priorities and potentially even enabling an effort to impeach President Donald Trump.