Since monumental pro-life legislation was signed off on by Gov. Bobby Jindal today, which would close three of the state’s five abortion clinics, vulnerable Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is saying that Jindal only signed the bill because he wants to become president in 2016 and is now portraying herself as an abortion centrist, with the help of the media.
In an interview with POLITICO, Landrieu, who is ‘personally pro-life, but policy-wise pro-abortion,’ said Jindal’s record on abortion is “very troubling” and not in line with “serving the people of Louisiana.” However, polling shows that 58 percent of the state is pro-life.
Referring to Rep. Katrina Jackson Lee’s (D-Monroe) restrictive abortion bill, Landrieu was clearly left-of-center on the matter, even though the bill flew through the legislature with bi-partisan support.
“Some of the bills being passed around the country are just very intrusive to personal decisions and very harmful to women and girls, you know, to their physical health and life. It’s a shame,” Landrieu said. “20 weeks is not the norm for being able to live outside of a hospital.”
So Landrieu is clearly left-of-center on abortion, but not so fast. Because of the right-ward shift on abortion issues in the state and across the country for that matter, Landrieu is now trying to paint the picture that she has been a centrist on the issue, granted POLITICO helped her along the way with this tale.
The three-term centrist lawmaker explained that while Republicans want to paint the politics of abortion rights as all or nothing, she maintains a nuanced position that defies the traditional pro- and anti-abortion rights labels.
“Nothing on this subject is easy to explain. I have kind of a different record than most. I’ve voted against late-term abortion, I voted for access in the … pre-viability [period],” she said. “Although I personally believe that life begins at conception, I believe the last place the government needs to be is in the church, in the doctor’s office or in the bedroom. And so even people who advocate for less government intrusion, like Gov. Jindal, get themselves in the most personal decisions a family could ever make.”
Defying the “traditional pro- and anti-abortion rights labels?” Landrieu’s record shows that she actually voted against every pro-life piece of legislation in the Senate since her re-election in 2008.
Since 1997, the National Right to Life has graded the lone-Louisiana Democrat on abortion as a record of “For Abortion and Against Life.” Just as her opponent in the senate race Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) notes, Landrieu has a strong alliance with the pro-choice lobby in Washington.
“She has supported using U.S. taxpayer dollars for overseas abortions and most folks, even if they are pro-choice, don’t care for that,” Cassidy said, referring to a 1997 vote on lifting an abortion ban on overseas U.S. military bases.
Here’s a bit of a breakdown on Landrieu’s pro-abortion record:
- Since 1997, Landrieu has only voted for 17 out of the 62 pro-life pieces of legislation in the Senate, earning her only a 27% pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life.
- Landrieu, infamously, supported the abortion subsidies in Obamacare. Remember this:
- Landrieu voted against a Senate amendment that would have eliminated tax subsidies for healthcare plans that cover abortion-on-demand under Obamacare.
- Landrieu opposed the Blunt Amendment, which would have prevented the HHS Mandate “from compelling groups, including religious schools and hospitals, to provide health coverage for drugs and procedures that violate their religious or moral convictions.”
- On parental notice of abortions across state lines, Landrieu has been inconsistent.
- In 2013, Landrieu opposed the “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act” which would require an abortionist to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor that lives out of state.
- Lastly, Landrieu has not expressed support for the Senate version of a House bill that would protect unborn babies who feel pain at 20 weeks.