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RI Nominates Pro-Life Dems (posted Sept. 13, 2000)

Bruising primaries for the U.S. Senate and House have produced pro-life Democratic nominations in Rhode Island. In yesterday's primary, Congressman Robert Weygand bested Richard Licht even after Licht made a major issue of Weygand's pro-life stance and broadcast thousands of dollars of campaign advertisements castigating Weygand's record in this area.

The same was true in the second congressional district where Secretary of State James Langevin beat back a determined challenge from Kate Coyne-McCoy. One of her chief criticisms of Langevin concerned his pro-life voting record and she devoted a substantial portion of her ads to the abortion issue.

The triumph of Weygand and Langevin in Democratic Rhode Island signals a new phase of the abortion battle. More than a decade ago, the state voted two-to-one in support of a pro-choice perspective on abortion. Now, two pro-life Democrats have triumphed in part because many voters cast ballots based on issues other than abortion and the pro-life forces marshalled major financial and organizational resources on behalf of their preferred candidates. Both Weygand and Langevin counter-attacked on the abortion issue by saying their opponents were extremists on the abortion issue who supported partial birth abortions, a position that is not supported by the vast majority of voters. The primary results demonstrate that abortion, once a sure-fire vote-getter for pro-choice candidates, is a far more complex issue politically than was thought 10 years ago.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services