Vote Lazio 'cause he's pro?
Rick Lazio claims he's pro-choice, pro-environment and opposes
the right-wing of his own party.
But a close look at his record and alliances shows a more complex picture.
By Erica Keets
Rick Lazio seems to be the ideal man for female New Yorkers, openly expressing his interest in two issues that strongly concern women in New York, and around the world. His website boasts that "as a member of the Health Subcommittee and co-founder of the House Cancer awareness Working Group, [he] has been at the forefront of the battle against breast cancer." He also says he's on the right side of an issue many women feel strongly about, abortion.
Or is he?
If you were to browse through Lazio's voting record, you may come up with a different scenario. At vote-smart.org, you will discover he has voted against some important abortion issues. He voted to ban privately funded abortions at overseas military hospitals for U.S. service women and military dependents except in cases of incest or rape, and voted to ban Medicaid coverage for abortion, except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. The latter making it almost impossible for women of lower class backgrounds to receive the same benefits as women whom can afford abortions without Medicaid.
"It's not just the number of his anti-choice votes that counts," said Bill Press for CNN, "it's their significance."
In Press' article titled "Don't be fooled. Rick Lazio is not pro-choice," he notes that according to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), in eight years in Congress, Lazio has voted on abortion and reproductive rights issues 94 times, 43 of them anti-choice votes.
At issues2000.org, you will come across the same findings concerning Lazio's position on abortion, but will also find Lazio is against the late term-abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion, and feels abortions should be legal during the first trimester.
However, according to issues2000.org, Lazio has consistently opposed efforts to make abortion illegal. He supported federal criminal penalties for blocking access to abortion clinics, and to allow organizations to provide their own money for abortions in developing countries to be eligible for international family-planning funds. Also, at vote-smart.org, you'll see Lazio voted to allow funds other than federal funds to be used to pay for abortions for low-income women. Lazio does not want to criminalize abortion, but at the same time wants to make it rarer.
"Pretending to affirm a woman's right to choose," said Press, "while denying that right to poor women, is hypocritical, unconstitutional, un-American -- and definitely un-choice."
Click here for a Lazio biography.