(Don Nelson/NevadaLIFE) – A recent Associated Press (AP) story on Nevada Senator Dean Heller’s abortion position misses the real story on abortion in the NV Senate Race. Senator Heller’s abortion votes are mainstream and Shelley Berkley’s votes are radically left of many who are pro-choice.
In recent weeks, newspapers around Nevada and even the Politico have focused on Senator Dean Heller’s “change” on abortion since entering Congress. The implication is, as assistant UNLV political science professor David Damore says, “he’s taken a hard tack to the right.” This is misleading and misses the real story, which is that Heller’s views are mainstream and Shelley Berkley is an abortion extremist who scored 100 percent agreement with Planned Parenthood on their voting questionnaire.
It’s misleading to say Heller has “taken a hard tack to the right” unless the majority of the country is right wing. The pro-life position is the new normal and 60 percent of Americans would ban almost all abortions, making exceptions in only a few circumstances. A clear majority believe that abortion is immoral and even more would accept some restrictions on abortion, but not Shelley Berkley. So why the comments that Heller is tacking to the “hard right” when pro-life is the new normal?
The real story on abortion extremism in the Nevada Senate race is Shelley Berkley’s abortion position. Not only is Berkley an off the charts abortion radical compared to the American mainstream, she’s an abortion radical compared to many pro-choice supporters. Many pro-choice advocates support abortion limitations like parental notification and consent, conscience protections, bans on brutal partial birth abortions, government funding bans, laws making the unborn a second victim in an attack on the mother, laws to keep abortion out of the military and more. But Berkley has opposed all of them. (Go to the National Right to Life Legislative Action Center and click on the votes tab to see Shelly Berkley’s abortion voting record.)
For instance, Berkley has voted to oppose or gut the anti-trafficking Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and the Child Custody Protection Act, both which would make it a crime to transport minor children across state lines to evade state laws requiring a parent be notified that their child is seeking an abortion or consent to the abortion. 82 percent oppose taking a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion without her parents’ knowledge, but not Shelley Berkley.
After the most recent series of exposés showing many Planned Parenthood clinics’ failure and unwillingness to report suspicions of statutory rape and to actually help those posing as pimps of a teen trafficking ring, it is obvious why this legislation was needed to protect young girls from sexual predators. The abortion industry will not do it. How many young girls have been victimized because this bill failed? Anyone opposing this kind of legislation is on the abortion fringe.
Senator Heller and the vast majority of Americans, including many who are pro-choice, support the ban on brutal partial birth abortions, but not Shelley Berkley. Partial birth abortion kills an unborn child in the process of delivery by stabbing the child in the head and sucking his or her brains out. No wonder Congress and the abortion supporting Supreme Court banned partial birth abortion. It is obvious who the abortion extremist is in the NV Senate race.
Senator Heller, along with a majority of Americans opposes government funding of abortion. Shelley Berkley has supported government funding for abortion in Obamacare-which will lead to the largest increase in abortion since Roe v. Wade. Berkley supports abortion in military medical facilities, taxpayer funding of abortion around the world, taxpayer funding through the United Nation’s Population fund which supports China’s brutal one child forced abortion policy; and she has also supported federal funding for abortions in prisons and for federal employee health care.
Berkley also opposed the widely supported Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Connor’s law after Laci Peterson and her unborn son Connor who were murdered by Scott Peterson. It treats the unborn victim of violence as a second victim and allows prosecutors to charge assailants like Scott Peterson with a second crime for harming or killing an unborn child in the commission of a crime against their mothers on federal property. A similar law in California allowed prosecutors to charge Peterson for a second crime of murdering her unborn son.
Berkley’s votes against conscience rights in regards to abortion are a vote to compel medical professionals, facilities and insurers to participate in and provide abortions against their most deeply held beliefs. For abortion radicals like Shelley Berkley, toleration of abortion is not enough; Americans must be compelled to participate.
Dean Heller has voted to keep government and the taxpayer from funding abortion. Those votes put him squarely in the American mainstream on abortion. If the media and political class want to inject abortion into the 2012 race for the Nevada Senate, they can start by reporting on Shelley Berkley’s off the charts extremist abortion positions and voting record.