Bill Weld on Abortion
Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)
WELD: I think it's OK for the government to be involved in ensuring clinic access, because that's guarding a fundamental constitutional right of the individual. So that's not the nanny state; that's good government, not bad government.
Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and staunch defender of faith, freedom and family, has refused, on the basis of Weld's record, to conduct a hearing on the nomination.
Weld has resigned the governor's seat to fight Helms over the nomination. The battle is being described as a struggle for the philosophical soul of the Republican Party. In announcing his resignation, Weld blasted Senator Helms, saying that his opposition to the nomination "has everything to do with the future of the Republican Party." Weld and his supporters have declared war on the pro-life, conservative mainstream of the Republican Party. [Sen. Helms won the battle and Gov. Weld was never appointed Ambassador].
Weld also parts with many Republicans over abortion, drawing national media attention during the Republican National Convention for his pro-choice statements, in opposition to the party's platform.
Some states, like New York, had laws permitting abortion before Roe; but in New Hampshire, the Governor has vetoed a bill to repeal a pre-Roe criminal abortion law. A national standard, like Roe, is thus preferable to uneven state laws. Women who could afford travel could go to states where abortion is legal. The poor would wind up with the back-alley abortionist.
Ideally, women's reproductive freedom will remain America's law and policy. But failing that, people will have to look to their state governments. Governor Weld offers an admirable example.
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