Anti-abortion Congressional candidate Molinaro plays down his pro-life position in debate with Ryan
Patricia R. Doxsey reports for the Daily Freeman that Republican Marc Molinaro vaguely claimed Aug. 5 that he would oppose efforts by Congress to pass anti-abortion legislation if he was elected to represent the 19th Congressional District. But he also said, during a debate with Democrat Pat Ryan put on by the newspaper, that he is pro-life and that the recent Supreme Court ruling made it an issue for the states, not Congress. “I don’t believe after the Supreme Court decision that the federal government or Congress has much of a role at all," Molinaro said. “The federal government’s role has been severely limited by the Supreme Court decision and therefore it is now an issue that returns to the state governments.... We may not agree that we like that, but that is the way in which this constitutional democracy works.” Molinaro did not say specifically how he would vote on a national measure to ban abortion that is expected if Republicans win control of Congress. Nor did he say how he would vote on a measure to protect abortion rights nationally, which is expected if Democrats retain control of Congress. Abortion services are widely popular, with voters in conservative Kansas voting last week to retain the medical procedure there. Most Republican politicians, such as Molinaro, oppose abortion, and after the Kansas vote are attempting to downplay their own opinions on the issue. Molinaro called for “thoughtful limitations” on when an abortion can take place and criticized Ryan’s support for late-term abortions, which Molinaro said, need to be “scaled to the necessity only.” Ryan disagreed. “I cannot tell you the number of times on the campaign trail across this district in the most rural and suburban parts of this district, people have literally broken into tears in response to fundamental rights being ripped away by your party and the far right Republican party that is increasing, looking at Kansas just a few days ago as an example, disconnected from reality on the ground,” Ryan said. “What I believe and what I believe the vast preponderance of Americans who believe in freedom and privacy as enshrined in our constitution believe is that government, especially a bunch of men, have no place in making those decisions.” Molinaro and Ryan are in a special election Aug. 13 through Aug. 23, to finish the final few weeks of Democrat Antonio Delgado's NY19 term. Other candidates are running at the same time to represent the new 19th District in Congress starting next year. The winner of the Ryan-Molinaro election won't vote on the abortion issue in the few weeks they will hold office, but if either win in their different general elections in November, they could. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.