UPDATE: Cory Gardner's campaign responds with what appears to be their stock response on abortion and Personhood questions. Eli Stokols of Fox 31 reports:
Gardner’s campaign responded quickly, attacking Udall for going negative and alleging that the ad distorts Gardner’s record.
“After nearly two decades in Washington, Senator Udall has decided to launch his reelection campaign with a negative, misleading attack ad because he has no record of accomplishments,” Gardner campaign manager Chris Hansen said in a statement. “While Coloradans sound the call for new leadership, Senator Udall continues to lie about Cory Gardner’s record while distorting his own.
Gardner's campaign is sticking with this approach in order to defend his own background with the abortion issue: Making a broad accusation that opponents are "distorting Gardner's record." We suppose there is nothing much else for Gardner to say in response to the two main points of the ad, that he 1) supported legislation that would make abortion a felony, and 2) he was a supporter of Personhood for years before his surprise flip-flop in March.
If you have a weak defense, all that's left is to play offense.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is up with his campaign's first TV spot of the election season–and it's a powerful kickoff, hitting GOP opponent Cory Gardner squarely on his past support for banning abortion and "Personhood." From Udall's release:
The thirty-second spot shows voters that Sen. Mark Udall respects Colorado women and trusts them to make the best health care choices for their families, which stands in contrast to Congressman Cory Gardner's lengthy record of restricting women's rights and access to important health services.
“For generations, brave American women have fought to secure the right to make their own health care decisions based on what they believe is right for themselves and their families,” said Sen. Mark Udall. “It astounds me that some still think the legality of birth control and access to reproductive health services should be subject to debate. I’ll never stop fighting to protect the rights of Colorado women because I trust them and respect the choices they make.”
“Colorado women trust Mark Udall because he has shown that profound respect for women is a core part of who he is. He understands that reproductive health care decisions are deeply personal and should only be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, not by crusading politicians in Washington,” said State Senator Irene Aguilar, MD. “Throughout his career, Mark has stood up to those who fought to restrict access to birth control and take us back to a time when women had no options – a time when women were mere bystanders while others made our decisions for us.”
“Mark Udall’s long record of respecting Colorado women stands in stark contrast to his opponent’s. Congressman Cory Gardner continues his eight-year crusade for radical Personhood measures–which he admits would ban common forms of birth control–by sponsoring the plan in Congress. He was even a leader of the effort in Colorado to make abortion a felony, including in cases of rape or incest,” said Congresswoman Diana DeGette, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus. “Colorado women simply can’t afford to let Cory Gardner push his radical agenda.”
Supporting documentation after the jump.
GARDNER IS STILL A COSPONSOR OF THE LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION ACT, THE “PERSONHOOD BILL”
Gardner Is A Cosponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act in July 2013. [HR 1091, cosponsored 7/23/2013]
Gardner Also Cosponsored The Legislation In The 112th Congress. [HR 374, cosponsored 3/20/2012]
Life Begins At Conception Act Defined A Human Being As “A Member Of The Species Homo Sapiens” At The Moment Of Fertilization. “To implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person, and pursuant to the duty and authority of the Congress, including Congress' power under article I, section 8, to make necessary and proper laws, and Congress' power under section 5 of the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being. …Human person; human being.–The terms “human person'' and “human being'' include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” [HR 1091, Bill Text, introduced 3/12/2013]
Sen. Rand Paul: Life At Conception Act Declares “Unborn Children Are Persons Legally Entitled To Constitutional Protection.” In a fundraising note, Sen. Rand Paul wrote: “A Life at Conception Act, by declaring that unborn children are persons legally entitled to constitutional protection, will rescue millions of unborn children from dying by abortion-on-demand; Therefore: I urge you to cosponsor and cast every vote for a Life at Conception Act, and to do everything necessary to win ultimate passage in the United States Congress. [National Pro-Life Alliance, Life at Conception Act Petition, Rand Paul fundraising letter]
Senate Sponsor Sen. Wicker: Introduced Life At Conception Act So That If “Personhood Is Established, The Appellant’s Case, Of Course, Collapses, For The Fetus’ Right To Life Is Then Guaranteed” In January 2011, The Hill: “Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he’d introduce legislation Tuesday that establishes in law that human life begins at conception. Wicker argues that the Supreme Court did not tie the hands of Congress in its Roe vs. Wade decision, because its decision left unresolved the question of when life begins and explicitly acknowledged that if ‘personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.’” [The Hill,1/24/2011; S.91, introduced 1/25/2011]
GARDNER COSPONSORED BILL MAKING ABORTION A FELONY, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE OR INCEST
Gardner Cosponsored Bill To Make Abortion A Class 3 Felony. In 2007, Gardner sponsored SB 07-143 in the Colorado General Assembly which was an anti-abortion bill that would outlaw all abortions with the exception of cases that is “designed to protect the death of a pregnant mother, if the physician makes reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.” It would make it a class 3 felony to perform an abortion [Colorado General Assembly, SB 07-143; Fort Collins Coloradoan, 10/3/2010]
The Bill Would Have Banned Abortion In Cases Of Rape And Incest, Doctors Would Face Class 3 Felony And A Prison Term Of Up To 12 Years. In February 2007, the CU Independent reported that “Senate Bill 143 proposed to ban all abortions in Colorado, except when the life of the pregnant woman is at risk. This would include banning abortions to women who have been victims of rape and/or incest. Any doctors who performed abortions outside of these lines would face a third degree felony that could carry a prison term up to 12 years.” Life News, an anti-abortion news outlet stated “Colorado legislators voted on Monday to kill a bill that would have offered legal protection to unborn children who are victims of abortion. The measure, modeled after the abortion ban the South Dakota state legislature approved last year, would have banned most abortions, except in very rare cases to save the life of the mother.” [Life News, 2/12/2007; The Denver Channel, 2/11/2007; CU Independent, 2/14/2007]