Monday, November 11, 2013

How Nan Rich Needs to Make Abortion a Campaign Issue

Progressive activist Susan Smith should be happy about this. USF political science professor Susan MacManus believes Nan Rich has a legitimate shot of beating Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary.

"I don't think it's going to be a slam dunk [for Crist]," said University of South Florida Professor of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus. "She,[Rich] appeals to women voters and there are still a number of Democrats who are a little bit nervous about someone they see as a carpetbagger."

I have expressed my skepticism for MacManus' political analysis before. However, Rich's past votes on abortion issues in the Florida Senate could help her with women voters. Rich twice voted against pre-abortion ultrasound legislation. Rich states her position on abortion on her campaign website.

I remain fully committed to preserving women’s rights to decide issues regarding their reproductive health and privacy. During the 2011 and 2012 Legislative Sessions, the attack on women’s rights continued with 28 anti-choice bills introduced. In 2012, the most dangerous of these would have kept Planned Parenthood from opening any new clinics by requiring all clinics where abortions are provided to be owned by physicians. The bill placed other onerous restrictions on women and their ability to control their own bodies and own lives. Fortunately, a bi-partisan coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans were able to stop that bad legislation from becoming law. You can be sure that as Governor, I would veto any such similar legislation.

Rich needs to make reproductive rights an issue in the primary. It will take Crist out of his comfort zone and force him to explain his previous abortion positions.

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