Buck softens stance on abortion and "personhood"
The Denver Post
As a Republican primary candidate, Ken Buck took absolutist positions on abortion and “personhood” – declaring that if elected to the U.S. Senate he would sponsor a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and backing a proposed state law that would outlaw some common forms of birth control.
Now, faced with televised attacks from incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet over those strident views, Buck is painstakingly trying to modify positions that may not match the beliefs of the unaffiliated moderates who will ultimately decide the contest.
Before the Republican caucuses, Buck answered a Christian family group’s questionnaire and said he supported Amendment 62, the “Personhood Amendment,” on the Colorado ballot.
Buck said Saturday through his campaign spokesman that he will now vote against the measure. In an earlier interview, he said he did not understand until recently that passage of the amendment would likely outlaw some common contraceptive methods, like the IUD or birth control pills that can reduce the chances of implantation for a fertilized egg.
“This isn’t how I looked at the personhood amendment,” Buck said. “I’m not in favor of banning common forms of birth control.”
Coloradans overwhelmingly rejected – by almost 3 to 1 – a similar measure in 2008, which would have guaranteed constitutional protections to “any human being from the moment of conception.”
No longer would Buck introduce a constitutional amendment to ban abortion – though he says he would still support one – and he now says he would be willing to vote to confirm even pro-choice judicial nominees.
Earlier this year, Buck answered another survey saying he would never confirm “pro-abortion” candidates for any government job, including judgeships. But last week, he drew a distinction between pro-choice and pro-abortion candidates, saying he would have no “litmus test” preventing pro-choice candidates from Senate confirmation.
“When I look at that word, pro-abortion, to me that doesn’t mean pro-choice, that means someone who is an activist, someone trying to find ways to promote abortions,” he said.
Cleta Jasper, a board member from the Pikes Peak Citizens for Life – which sent Buck the survey during the primary election season – defines “pro-abortion” as anyone who is pro-choice.
Is she disappointed Buck wouldn’t use abortion as a litmus test now?
“Not enough to kick him in the shins,” she said.
Buck’s early staked-out positions – on abortion, privatizing Social Security, shuttering the federal Department of Education – during his long primary fight have blossomed into the most divisive issues in this election season.
Bennet calls the Weld County district attorney an extremist, and describes Buck’s changing positions as disingenuous as he reaches out to moderate voters during the general election season.
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