Eric Hovde, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, released radio ads yesterday touting his “pro-life credentials.” He previously said he is 100% pro-life, meaning he does not support any exceptions on abortion, not even for rape, incest or the life/health of the mother. So why, just hours after his ads came out, did Hovde tell West Bend voters that he does support exceptions? And what would Mark Neumann, the “principled conservative” in the GOP Senate race, have to say about Hovde’s double talk?
Here is the transcript of Tuesday’s West Bend event (audio below)
MAN IN AUDIENCE: All your discussion so far has been about the financial issues. A radio address that you gave had you describing yourself as 100% pro-life. Do you see any options available, any variations on that, or is 100% pro-life?
HOVDE: I’m a 100% pro-life.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Blunt Amendment want employers to indicate their moral ideas about what their employees should be receiving for healthcare, do you agree with the Blunt Amendment?
HOVDE: I don’t know enough about the Blunt Amendment, but let me deal with my 100% pro-life. I’m a 100% pro-life, I’m a 100%, I’m a Christian.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: No exception?
HOVDE: No, oh well wait, I’m going to be honest with you. I do have an exception for rape or incest. I have two daughters, it’s something that I go back and forth and I can argue on both sides. It’s a difficult, it’s a very difficult issue because I know what happens through the studies that women that are unfortunately raped, they fall quite often into severe depression, and it tends to lead to a very negative outcome for them. So it’s something that’s very hard to wrestle with. But yes, I am a Christian. I am pro-life.
Eric Hovde is entitled to his own set of opinions on this issue, of course, but he needs to pick only one set if he expects to be taken seriously.