How much power does a governor have over the state’s agenda regarding abortion access? It really depends who you ask.
Illinois’s Republican candidate for governor, Bill Brady, says there’s really not a whole lot a governor can do to stop abortion in the state on his or her own. But that won’t stop anti-abortion activists from pushing him. Via the State Journal Register:
Bill Brady, the Republican candidate for governor, is pro-life but told a group of Springfield senior citizens on Tuesday that there is not much he can do about abortion if he is elected.
“Yes, I am pro-life,” the state senator from Bloomington told a luncheon of about 40 people at Temple Israel on West Governor Street. “But really, if you look at the makeup of the letter of the law, there’s very little that the governor can do.”
William Beckman, executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, said Brady is underestimating the power of the governor’s bully pulpit.
“I think he’s probably, to some degree, minimizing the impact the governor can have,” Beckman said. “Unfortunately, in the state of Illinois, it seems the so-called political advisers seem to be of the mindset that you have to put these kinds of issues under the rug.”
Is the governor mostly a ceremonial role when it comes to abortion policy in the state? If so, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is embracing it whole-heartedly.
South Carolina has just passed a new waiting period for women who wish to procure abortions. According to WSPA News, the new mandatory 24 hour waiting period will be signed at — yep, a pregnancy center.
Spartanburg’s Carolina Pregnancy Center was one of the spearheads for the 24 hour bill. The bill increases the time a woman must wait to get an abortion from one our to one full day after getting an ultrasound or reviewing information about the procedure.
Of course, the governor does have real power to set the agenda when it comes to access to reproductive rights, as we learned in Oklahoma and Florida this year. But too many governors are willing to embrace the pomp and circumstance of the office without being willing to make the hard choices to not unduly burden women.
Mini Roundup: Apparently 48 percent of Americans think abortions are “too easy” to obtain, including 53 percent of women, according to the latest Rasmussen Poll. Then again, 54 percent of those surveyed said abortion is “morally wrong most of the time,” too.
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