Asked if she’s ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice,’ Carol Porter picks none-of-the-above

As the weekend broke, Democratic candidate for governor DuBose Porter let it be known that he should be considered “pro-life” when it comes to the issue of abortion.

It was not unexpected news, and arose from a discussion of biotech research at the University of Georgia.

Carol Porter, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Carol Porter, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

But the House minority leader from Dublin is only one half of a political couple on the July 20 primary ballot. There remained the question of how the husband’s point of view would reflect on Carol Porter, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

On Monday morning, we asked the Carol Porter campaign whether she supported a woman’s right to an abortion.

On Tuesday, a long explanation, penned by the candidate herself, arrived via e-mail. The brief essay said many things, and even came with a footnote. But it did not answer the question.

And in a phone conversation, Carol Porter declared that hers was not just a temporary evasion.

“I’m fed up with these vague – because that’s what they are – labels that derail conversation,” she said.

Georgia has no say-so on the largest issue of whether abortion should remain constitutional, Carol Porter said. And the smaller issues that merely graze the topic should be dealt with on an individual basis.

“I’m sorry, I’m not getting labeled on it. It’s a difficult issue for everybody in this state,” the Democratic candidate said.

Likewise, she declined to say what she thought about embryonic stem cell research – a large issue at UGA.

But here’s what Carol Porter wrote on the topic:

The question politicians really need to be asked is not, “Are you pro-life or pro-choice,” but instead, “will you work to reduce abortions?” My answer is yes, but if you have to give me a label you will have to call me pro-Georgian.

“The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner”, according to L.B. Finer et al.* (from a list of choices)

It is obvious if we want to truly decrease abortions we should work to create more financial stability for women. When you improve the economy, abortion rates will go down.

The real question we as Georgians need to ask is, “Do we want to truly decrease abortions or just turn out the vote on it?” To run under the banner “pro-life” and to legislate in a way that creates the very factors that lead to abortions is baffling.

Because of poor leadership, our state does not have a reliable water source and our major city sits in gridlock. We are dismal in our rankings on educational achievement and have an excessive dropout rate. The thing we are now becoming known for is being number one in the percentage of our population in the correctional system.

Small business in Georgia is struggling and unemployment is high. Law enforcement has been reduced to unsafe levels and our population is in the top ten most unhealthy. Yet the Georgia leadership who allowed these statistics are all “pro-life.” Saying you are “pro-life” and then creating the conditions in which abortions increase is disingenuous.

In Georgia, the label “pro-life” has become among politicians a label used not to decrease abortions, but to increase votes. Take for instance this past session: the elected Republican leadership let a “pro-life” bill, SB 529, pass the Senate but only with a backroom agreement it would not make it to the floor of the House for a vote.

[The reference is to a bill that would have made it illegal for physicians to perform abortions -- if they knew the woman involved had been "coerced" into the procedure.]

Do you think those who passed it out in the Senate, when campaigning this fall, will remember to mention the prior agreement that kept the bill from passing into law?

There is a book entitled “What’s the Matter with Kansas” which explains how politicians pretend to embrace the “pro-life” banner to get voters to vote against their own best economic interests. This unfortunate occurrence has been going on for years in Georgia as well.

In this economy we can not afford this duplicity anymore. We must not let the smoke and mirrors distract Georgia from our financial crisis and continue to hold Georgia’s economy back again. If we improve the economy, we will decrease abortions. This is one pro-Georgian who intends to work to do just that.

* Finer LB et al., Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantitative and qualitative perspectives, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118.

Georgia’s WIN List is a political action committee that directs campaign cash to women Democratic candidates. Support of “reproductive freedom” is usually a requirement.

Amy Morton of Macon, chairman of the WIN List, said the PAC has yet to make its endorsements in 2010 races, and so she could not declare whether Carol Porter would receive the group’s support.

But Morton said she is personally supporting Carol Porter’s candidacy, and likes her emphasis on the economy and jobs.

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28 comments Add your comment

Aquagirl

May 25th, 2010
3:00 pm

“Saying you are “pro-life” and then creating the conditions in which abortions increase is disingenuous.”

That’s the most sensible statement I’ve heard from a politician in a while.

Bubba

May 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

Maybe the Porters should switch races and put the woman on top.

AngryVoter

May 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

Wow. Just Wow. Why isn’t this woman running for Governor? There is more common sense in those few paragraphs than in what has crossed the lips of Barnes, Ox, Handel, Baker, her husband and all those other fools combined. Seriously, why isn’t she running for Gov?

RG

May 25th, 2010
3:14 pm

Perfect sense from Carol Porter. Speaking to the issues, and refusing to get derailed. Go, Carol!

[...] The AJC has the full response. If Porter continues to stay away from the far left, she may have a reasonable shot at dethroning Cagle. [...]

BK

May 25th, 2010
3:43 pm

Translation- She is pro-choice but can’t say so because its a loser in GA

Rural Georgian

May 25th, 2010
3:48 pm

Translation of previous comment- I like to put words in candidates’ mouths so my candidate can win.

Observer

May 25th, 2010
4:00 pm

Bye bye Carol Porter. This just sunk any remote chance she might have had.

rightofcenter

May 25th, 2010
4:05 pm

Interesting. I wonder if Carol is aware that the nation itself has been mired in a recession – it’s hard to see how the current state leadership “created” the conditions. Also interesting that she cited Tom Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” I just finished that book and was amazed at how anti-free enterprise, anti-capitalism, pro-government, and pro-taxes it is (”progressive”, in the worst sense of the word). I look forward to Ms. Porter endorsing all of the radical ideas espoused in the book. That will be real popular in Georgia. Frank claims to be a populist, but anti-capitalist seems to be a more accurate moniker.

quicker

May 25th, 2010
4:12 pm

That’s a very good answer, but the issue is that you can’t have a married couple in the highest two positions in the state. He would be her boss. How do you think that would work? It certainly wouldn’t be allowed in the private sector and SHOULD NOT be allowed in our state government.

Shark Punch!

May 25th, 2010
4:14 pm

Carol Porter has hit the nail right on the head. Pro-choice/pro-life is a false dichotomy anyway. Plenty of pro-choicers are personally opposed to abortion, and plenty of so-called pro-lifers have no problem murdering doctors.

If we eliminate the need for abortion, abortion won’t exist. Plain and simple.

Better think twice

May 25th, 2010
4:32 pm

WHAT. A. JOKE.

Rural Georgian

May 25th, 2010
4:45 pm

The governor is not the lt. governor’s boss. The governor does not have the power to hire, fire or appoint the lt. governor. The people elect both and the people are the boss of both positions.

[...] has one label: she is pro-Georgian. I am quoting parts, but you should definitely check out the whole article at the AJC: The question politicians really need to be asked is not, “Are you pro-life or [...]

Iconoclast

May 25th, 2010
5:06 pm

An idiot would recognize that abortion is a horrible and frightening choice for any woman to make, but most of you so-called pro-lifers really only love babies while their inside the womb. You have no regard and no fiscal desire for its care once born into this world.

So, you really want to put a halt to abortions? Given the laws of supply and demand, you “Market Capitalists” ought to be able to figure this one out:

Quit blowing your money on twisting civil liberties and, instead, adopt and nurture something that really means more than your-own damned soul!

Bill

May 25th, 2010
5:36 pm

I refuse to vote for anyone who runs on a Pro-Life platform and I applaud Porter for making her statements. No one is really pro-abortion, it is about a woman’s right to choose what she does concerning her own reproduction. Yes, some women abuse the right but it still is no one’s business except the person facing their own decision. I personally would love to see all the so called Pro-lifers put their money where their mouth is and sign up for a national registry that promises they personally will support and maintain a child not aborted all the way through college no matter what race, creed, or physical condition at birth. I bet there would be few takers.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

May 25th, 2010
5:53 pm

Carol Porter for Georgia!

Her highly articulate intelligence, personal refinement, proven strength (”The L-rd only gives sons to strong women”), comeliness and Grace is a refreshing example to all who’ve never known, or forgotten the meaning of, a true “Georgia Peach.”

How blessed would be this greatest state of all to make her elect for high office: the Lt. Governorship.

A woman who tells the truth and understands the problems corrupt politics have used to attempt to garner power and mislead the People, what a joy to see a complete woman who can raise a proper family at the same time.

Prov.31:
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Georgia is G-d’s country. How fitting to have a true, G-dly woman in high office…and everything that says of G-d’s blessings to her husband.

I like this.

May 25th, 2010
7:51 pm

Well, ignoring Will bible-blathering Whomever, Carol Porter finally said very eloquently what should have been obvious from the beginning. I don’t like the thought of abortions, but I don’t believe I have any right to condemn either the procedure or the women who get them if I’m not prepared to work to alleviate the societal pressures which lead to many of them.

Raquel Morris

May 25th, 2010
11:24 pm

Imagine Casey Cage struggling to compose such eloquent thoughts. LOL. Not very likely.

atlanta resident

May 26th, 2010
7:29 am

Me too Ms. Porter, right on, amen, bob’s you uncle, you da man. I am for good education, good jobs, good families, good football teams, good lo calorie deserts, high paying jobs, prettier women, smarter students, playful puppies, better whiskey, faster horses, better fuel economy. Now did I pretty much cover everything. To bad neither of us know how to achieve these things. The difference us is that I am honest in saying i don’t have a clue how to achieve all this.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

May 26th, 2010
7:37 am

“The difference us is that I am honest in saying i don’t have a clue how to achieve all this.”

Make Elect the decent and good, ridding ourselves of the liars, hypocrites, and evil; and G-d’s grace will take care of it all.

Annuit Coeptis

Scruffydawg

May 26th, 2010
8:33 am

What a well thought out position, that actually makes sense and does not pander to the soundbite just to try and get votes. To heck with putting her in the Governors office let’s get her in the white house. Carol is going to do what’s right for Ga and is not going to let any political party get in her way. This will be my first time crossing party lines and voting for a Democrat.

The real deal

May 26th, 2010
8:38 am

Yah Carol. Clean up the mess in Atlanta. I have a question. How is the Cagle has such bad health he had to drop out of the governors race a few months back, but ran in a triathlon in Jekyll island recently. Come on Ga we deserve better than that. How arrogant can one sleazy politician be. Pants on the ground. Pants on the ground, looking like a fool with his pants on the ground .

Mr. Grumpy

May 26th, 2010
9:01 am

Carole Porter makes complete sense. How refreshing.

Scruffydawg

May 26th, 2010
9:40 am

Dear Right of Center, If the fact that Carol has read “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” is worrying you- Do Not Be Afraid. Just because you read a book does not mean you plan to implement every thought it implies. All things considered, does not mean all things accepted. Knowledge is a good thing. If you know Carol you would know she is a huge reader and has probably read every book on politics and government she could get her hands on. She has an extensive library and most every time I see her we discuss the latest books we are reading. Trust me right of center, having a well read person in office is not a bad thing:)

Also Carol is a small business owner who believes that entrepreneurship and small privately owned business are vital to our economy

Jackson

May 26th, 2010
12:19 pm

What are the Porters’ stand on illegal immigration and its effect on the GA economy?

GSUStudent

May 26th, 2010
12:21 pm

I NEVER thought I would see a politician take the time to craft such a well-thought-out response to a question proposing an implied dichotomy and meant for a sound-bite.

[...] The Political Insider at the AJC jumps into where Carol Porter (D), who is running for Lieutenant Governor, stands on Abortion: As the weekend broke, Democratic candidate for governor DuBose Porter let it be known that he should be considered “pro-life” when it comes to the issue of abortion. [...]