During the fourth and final debate between Connecticut’s U.S. Senate candidates Chris Murphy (D) and Linda McMahon (R), Murphy said he believes life begins at birth, a position notably out of sync with most Americans.
In May of this year, a Gallup poll found that 50% of those polled identified themselves as “pro-life,” while only 41% identified as “pro-choice.” In 2008, a Zogby poll found that 59% of those polled believed life begins at conception, while only 17.2% said that life begins at birth.
Though candidate McMahon has presented herself as a moderate Republican who is pro-choice, Murphy has repeatedly attacked her using the “war on women” theme popular among national Democrats.
While McMahon has been clear about her pro-choice status, she supports parental consent laws for minors seeking abortion and is against the HHS mandate, which forces most employers to provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients to employees through health insurance plans. Murphy attacked McMahon using the “war on women” meme that women cannot purchase contraception unless the government makes laws forcing employers to provide it.
"You can't say you're pro-choice while then supporting things like the Blunt amendment, which would take away from women the ability to purchase contraception,'' Murphy said during the debate to McMahon. "You can't say you're pro-choice but then be open to voting for Supreme Court justices that would overturn the very law that provides access for women's full preventative healthcare benefits.”
Curiously, Murphy also said that he supports restrictions on late-term abortions with exceptions such as to protect the life of the mother. Why does Murphy support restrictions on late-term abortions if, in fact, he believes life does not begin until birth? Why should it matter to him? If Murphy accuses McMahon of pretending to be more moderate on abortion than she really is, isn’t he doing the same thing?
Murphy has been endorsed by NARAL, and his wife Cathy Holahan is a former board president of NARAL’s Connecticut chapter.
Both former president Bill Clinton and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) will soon travel to Connecticut to campaign with Murphy.
According to a new UCONN/Hartford Courant poll, Murphy has a narrow lead over McMahon, 44%-38% of likely voters, with 17% undecided. McMahon leads in Fairfield County, adjacent to New York, and in eastern Connecticut.