Kay Bailey: Roe v. Wade Won’t Get Her Across the Potomac

As I’ve mentioned before, Kay Bailey Hutchison likes to play this little game in which she acts just wishy-washy enough to allow some people to believe she may actually be a stealth pro-choice candidate. She aims to siphon off moderates, primarily women, who miss the days of Barry Goldwater, by trying to adopt a nuanced stance on abortion rights.

I think we all know that nuance has no place in the Republican primary in Texas. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I’m just saying that when you are up against Debra Medina and Rick Perry, nuance makes you sound hopelessly outdated.

In the debate among the 3 Republican primary contenders on January 14, 2010, Hutchison would not toe the line on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Bizarre given the states’ rights fetish on her side of the aisle, she argues that Roe at least provides one federal rule that applies equally to all states. Without it, she warns, some states (those without anti-abortion laws on their books) would become abortion havens.

Specious argument. Even with Roe, we have a patchwork of abortion laws across the country (waiting periods, propaganda viewing, parental consent, etc.) that already create de facto abortion havens.

If by haven, that is, you mean places where a legal medical procedure is allowed to be performed by doctors without any interference by state legislators, and women can access those doctors without any undue burden. Texas, where over 90% of counties do not have abortion providers, hardly counts as a haven. Damn few states count, it turns out.

Anyway, pressed by one of the moderators during the debate:

Question: Are you saying that if it [Roe] is overturned it will lead to black market abortions?

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Legal—legal abortions. That’s what concerns me. I think you are looking at—right now, we have restrictions that are quite reasonable that are the law of the land.

Question: So keep Roe v. Wade on the books?

KBH: Well, I think you have to look at what happens if it goes away. Then every state is allowed to do whatever its state legislature passes, and we know there are states that would allow abortion under any circumstances including partial birth abortion.

Oh, Kay. So your real problem is legal abortion without restrictions. Specifically, you suffer from delusions that, given your training as a lawyer, you are qualified to make medical decisions about which techniques should and should not be used during any given procedure.

Left unsaid? Kay Bailey would support overturning Roe v. Wade if she could know that all states would impose arbitrary restrictions that would make the right to choose hollow and meaningless.

That means, Kay Bailey, that you are not pro-choice. If you don’t trust women and their doctors to know what is best, then you shouldn’t get to benefit from the trust—or votes—of women. Or doctors. Or women doctors. IMHO.

That also means, Kay Bailey, that you are not anti-choice enough to win the Republican primary in March, so you’ll sta in D.C. to torment us at the federal level. But by all means, please stay in the race, spending money and forcing Perry and Medina to spend money, too.

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