Florida Sides With Bush…on Abortion


Fox News reports that Florida voters have approved a ballot initiative requiring parental notification for abortions involving minors by 65 to 35 percent. On this issue, in other words, they overwhelmingly sided with Bush, who faulted Kerry during the third debate for opposing such laws.

In response, Kerry said, "I'm not going to require a 16-or 17-year-old kid who's been raped by her father and who's pregnant to have to notify her father." But as Ramesh Ponnuru points out in the November 8 National Review, "Kerry has voted against parental-notification bills that included exceptions for such cases."

Neither candidate, of course, mentioned the best reason to oppose such a law at the federal level: The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate abortion. But strictly from a political point of view, wouldn't it have made sense for Kerry to support such a seemingly modest restriction on abortion so he could look like a moderate on the issue? Bush got away with voicing support for the (likewise popular) federal "assault weapon" ban as way of signaling his moderation on the gun issue. Are abortion rights activists less forgiving than gun rights activists?