Final Debate Heats Up Over Abortions

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill,) (right) and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth wait for start of 8th Congressional District debate at WTTW Studios in Chicago. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune)

Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, running against  Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, used the final debate of his campaign Thursday night to tell his district, and the public, there should be no abortion exception for the “life of the mother” because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a woman would actually die.

Duckworth alleged that Walsh “would let a woman die,” rather than allow her to have an abortion.

“That’s not fair,” a visibly angry Walsh protested. “[Duckworth] actually supports tax-payer funding of abortions.”

Duckworth proceeded further with her response.

“I’m pro-choice without restriction, and here though, Mr. Walsh…what he said — not for rape, incest or life of the mother — he would let a woman die rather than give her, than to give the doctor the option to save her life.”

Meeting for a half-hour on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” the two candidates in the 8th Congressional District displayed an enormously more municipal attitude to each other than during their previous get together this month.

Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it’s never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, “Absolutely.”

“There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing,” Walsh explained outside.

In light of the heated discussion of abortions, Pew Research released a new study citing that women are far more likely than men to rate several issues as very important to their vote in the presidential election this year, including abortion and health care.

Among registered voters, more than half of women (54 percent) say the issue of abortion will be very important in their voting decision, compared with 36 percent of men — a difference of 18 percentage points. Among all registered voters, 46 percent say the issue of abortion will be very important to their vote.

While 81 percent of women voters say health care will be very important, fewer men (67 percent) view that issue as very important. Women also are more likely than men to view education (by 10 points) and jobs (eight points) as very important. There are no issues that significantly more men than women rate as very important.

Returning to the debate, however, this would be the last between the two before the Nov. 6 election. It attributed a calmer Walsh, a cable-TV bastion who is known for throwing fireballs. Duckworth, a wounded Iraq War veteran, temporarily, was more insistent than usual, challenging Walsh on several points.


4 thoughts on “Final Debate Heats Up Over Abortions

  1. Pingback: [link] The real abortion debate « slendermeans

  2. Pingback: Candidates Push for Early Voting « Katherine Iorio

  3. Pingback: Walsh, Duckworth Race-Tension Days Before Election « Katherine Iorio

  4. Pingback: Tammy Duckworth defeats Rep. Joe Walsh in Illinois’ 8th Congressional race « Katherine Iorio

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