Senate candidates differ on life issues

BOSTON -- Though Massachusetts Citizens for Life is not making an outright endorsement in the June 25 special election to fill the senate seat left vacant by John Kerry, the MCFL says there is a real distinction between the candidates on life issues.

Though neither Democrat candidate Rep. Edward Markey nor Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez returned a pro-life questionnaire sent out by MCFL, the group used information from voting records, public statements and media coverage to evaluate the candidates' positions.

"We haven't endorsed, but we have pointed out that there is a distinct and significant difference on the life issues between the candidates. Gomez says he is pro-life, and the positions he has taken are pro-life," said MCFL president Anne Fox speaking to The Pilot June 19.

According to an MCFL analysis emailed to supporters June 5, neither candidate appears to support a vote to overturn Roe v Wade; however, Gomez is not in favor of funding abortion with tax dollars.

"First of all it is just logical, but also it can be proven empirically, that when the government pays for abortion, the numbers of abortions go up tremendously. When the government pays for anything the use goes up, but particularly with abortions," Fox said.

She added that taxpayers -- in some cases pro-choice taxpayers -- who often do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortion should not have their choice in the matter stripped.

"The polls show a very high number of people, at least two thirds, who are opposed to tax funding of abortion," she said.

Also according to the analysis, Gomez favors parental consent for minors seeking abortions. Markey does not.

"If a minor girl wants to get her ears pierced or to be given an aspirin for headache in school, it requires parental permission. Yet, when we are talking about abortion, we are talking about something much more serious, psychologically and physically. There are definitely results when a young girl has an abortion that can be with her for the rest of her life. When she leaves the abortion clinic, no one follows up with her. When the pieces have to be picked up, it's the parents who are there who have to do it," she said.

Markey has a history of supporting partial birth abortion, while Gomez opposes the practice.

Gomez would likely stand up for conscience rights of religious employers, according to the analysis, while Markey would not.

Gomez may not be a perfect pro-life candidate, Fox said, but he still warrants recognition as the logical choice for those voting on life issues.

"If he is going to move ahead the cause of life, and help save lives, we don't have the luxury of not voting for him," Fox said.