Democrats quarrel over abortion law |

Democrats quarrel over abortion law

Brendan Riley

CARSON CITY (AP) – Gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus used the start of Judge Sam Alito’s confirmation hearings Monday in Washington, D.C., to contrast her pro-choice views on abortion with the pro-life views of fellow Democrat Jim Gibson, also running for governor.

Titus, state Senate minority leader, launched an ad on her Web site that uses a ticking clock to describe how time may run out on the Roe v. Wade decision favoring abortion if Alito gets on the U.S. Supreme Court – and Gibson’s stance on abortion means “the clock is ticking louder” in this state.

Gibson, Henderson mayor, countered that any suggestion that Roe v. Wade is threatened in Nevada “is nothing more than a scare tactic.” He added Nevada voters said in 1990 that the state law on abortion shouldn’t be changed and “I respect their choice and the law.” Gibson, a Mormon, also said his personal pro-life stand on abortion is similar “to that of former President Jimmy Carter, former Gov. Bob Miller and Sen. Harry Reid.

Titus said Gibson has stated that if he’s elected governor and the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade “he will impose his will and personal views on women.” Titus added that her view is that government should “help improve the lives of its citizens, rather than intrude on their personal lives and choices.”

In an October interview on the news program “Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” Gibson said he believed abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest or when a mother’s life is in danger. He also said that if the federal law guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion was reversed by the Supreme Court and the issue turned over to the states, he’d have to act on that belief.

Gibson spokesman Greg Bortolin later tried to clarify the mayor’s position, terming Gibson’s comment an “incomplete thought” and “lawyer-speak” responding to an unlikely hypothetical. He said Gibson’s position on abortion was a personal philosophy.

The continuing debate over abortion highlights the candidates’ efforts to energize liberal Democratic voters in the Aug. 15 primary, while positioning themselves as moderates capable of wooing voters away from a Republican in the general election in 2006.

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