There are now two pieces of legislation that are going through the legislative process in early primary states. In South Carolina, there is an abortion-related bill that requires that doctors review ultrasounds with a mother before an abortion.
In New Hampshire, the House just passed a civil-unions bill.
This matters because candidates will be asked where they stand on these issues. For example, in South Carolina, all the Republican candidates except for GIuliani have come out in support of the legislation. For example, Huckabee and McCain:
One who supports the S.C. proposal is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"I’m pro-life, and my attitude has always been if we’re going to take a position, take it on the side of preserving life," said Huckabee, a Baptist minister. "Anytime we can help to highlight what an abortion is, that would be a good thing."
U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona suggested that he supports the ultrasound proposal.
"Given the profound nature of a decision to end the life of an unborn child," he said in a statement, "I believe the more information that can be provided to a woman struggling with the decision of whether or not to have an abortion, the better."
On the other hand, other candidates like Rudy Giuliani has said that he supports a state’s right to make these laws but have not taken a position so far on the law
Other candidates are more nuanced.
"The ultrasound proposal currently under consideration … is a good example of a matter best left to the states to decide," said Elliott Bundy, a spokesman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani has said he believes in a woman’s right to have an abortion. But he’s also signaled that he would appoint conservative U.S. Supreme Court judges, who could restrict abortions.
Romney’s was a little in-between
Like Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has supported abortion rights in the past. Now he says he doesn’t.
"Gov. Romney is pro-life," said spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. "(He) believes that states should be free to place restrictions on abortion, and favors measures that protect the sanctity of life."
Note the difference between supporting the idea and supporting the process…. Sam Brownback was not quoted in the article, but has posted a statement on his blog in support of the legislation.
Is this going to start happening with civil unions? What will happen in Iowa, which, like New Hampshire, flipped to the Democrats. (they have already had a stem-cell bill go through, but it seems unlikely that that will be a mobilizing issue in the same way.)