Abortion key issue for Lt. Governor race

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(Host) Abortion has emerged as a key issue in the race for Lt. Governor.

Democratic candidate Matt Dunne and Progressive Marvin Malek say the issue is relevant because the U.S. Supreme Court could rule to overturn Roe vs. Wade in the next few years.

They argue that’s an outcome that would bring the issue squarely into state legislatures throughout the country.

Republican Lt. Governor Brian Dubie is accusing Dunne and Malek of using scare tactics with voters.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) Lt. Governor Brian Dubie has clearly stated for the past 6 years that he has a pro-life position on abortion.

His two major party opponents think Dubie is out of step with the views of a majority of Vermonters on this issue.

Democrat Matt Dunne says it’s critical to elect a pro-choice Lt. Governor because the issue could be debated soon at the state level.

Dunne thinks the U.S. Supreme Court is one vote away from overturning the landmark abortion ruling known as Roe vs. Wade:

(Dunne) “Unlike past elections, a woman’s right to choose is now a real issue in this country and in this state at this point in time. I don’t believe we can afford to have anyone, even in a tie breaking position, that opposes a woman’s right to choose.”

(Kinzel) Progressive candidate Marvin Malek notes that the South Dakota legislature this winter passed a law that bans most abortions. The law is being appealed and could end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Malek) “Brian Dubie the incumbent Lt. Governor is one statewide candidate who repeatedly says that he does not believe that women should be allowed a right to choose their destiny if they have an unplanned pregnancy. That’s totally unacceptable. If the governor dies and he’s in office we might end up being another South Dakota.”

(Kinzel) Dubie says anyone who examines his four-year record as Lt. Governor will find that he’s tried to bring people together on this very controversial issue.

He’s most proud of an effort to allocate several hundred thousand dollars to expand adoption services throughout the state.

(Dubie) “Anybody running for office can make any issue they want. The question is what’s important for Vermonters. And what’s important for Vermonters to really know is that abortion was legal in our state before Roe v. Wade. So when people or candidates use it as an issue to scare others, you know that’s something they can do. But it’s not what I’ve chosen to do as Lt. Governor.”

(Kinzel) Dubie says he’ll continue to work on programs to help reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and he doubts that Vermont lawmakers will ever seriously consider legislation than bans abortion in the state.

For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier

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