Hatch and Howell state their stance on abortion

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    By Krystal Baker

    The Utah candidates for the U.S. Senate have similar and restrictive views of abortion, but they have different approaches as to when an abortion is acceptable.

    Democratic challenger Scott Howell said he is against abortion with the exception of rape, incest, and in cases where there is a risk to the life and the health of the mother.

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he believes the same, but he adds that he believes the exceptions are too easily justified.

    In a statement Howell issued early in his campaign, he said that he is a Democrat, but does not take the traditional Democratic view of abortion.

    “I often hear stories from fellow Utah Democrats that a neighbor, friend, or church member has labeled them ‘baby killers,’ wrongly assuming that all Democrats are pro-choice,” he said.

    Within both parties a wide range of opinion exists, Howell said.

    “The assumption that Democrats are automatically in favor of abortion is often exploited in Utah political campaigns,” he said.

    Howell said he is against abortion and has a record to prove it.

    Howell said he voted for a ban on partial-birth abortion in the Utah Senate. He voted for the Prohibition of Specified Abortion Procedure bill 76-7-310.5, because the bill contained a clause making an exception for cases in which the life and the health of the mother is involved, he said.

    “My views differ strongly from those of many people in my political party. Abortion must be considered one of the most serious problems in our society. Let me state this very clearly: I am opposed to abortion. I hope that any future misrepresentation of my position on abortion will be recognized as misleading,” Howell said in a news release.

    Hatch is also opposed to abortion.

    “Nobody doubts where I stand,” he said at a debate on Oct. 16 at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. “I am pro-life and am proud of it.”

    Hatch champions adoption as an easier and safer alternative to abortion, according to Lee Roderick in his biography of Hatch, Gentleman of the Senate.

    “I realize that not every child is greeted with the joy Elaine and I felt over the arrival of our six unique, challenging, and rewarding children,” Hatch said.

    “Many thousands of couples pray every day that they will be able to adopt children. Those contemplating killing their unborn infants instead could help answer such prayers,” he said.

    Hatch said too many abortions have occurred since Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion in 1973. Many people use the excuse of the “health of the mother,” to justify abortion, he said in the Snow College debate.

    He said that he stands with the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on abortion.

    “The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma for the mother,” reads an excerpt from the official LDS Church statement on abortion.

    Hatch said he interprets the church’s statement to mean that abortion is a viable option if the life and health of the mother involved are at risk, according to an honest medical doctor. Hatch said that abortion doctors would always find a health concern whether one exists or not.

    Hatch said the health exception provides a “loophole the pro-abortion side can just drive a truck through.”

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