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Duncan Vows to be "Pro-Choice Governor"


Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan warned yesterday that the next governor of Maryland might well have to reaffirm the state's support for abortion and pledged to be "Maryland's pro-choice governor" if voters him elect him this fall.

Speaking at the Woman's National Democratic Club, an organization of politically active women that dates to 1922, Duncan noted the South Dakota legislature passed a law last week banning most abortions that is widely seen as a vehicle for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe V. Wade.

"It could very well happen during the term of the next governor," Duncan said.

"We have to be honest with our selves," Duncan told the group at its headquarters in Dupont Circle. "The anti-choice forces will be using the same strategy at the state that they used on the federal level, slowly chipping away at a woman's right to choice through restrictions that sound benign until a woman's right to choose no longer exists."

Tim Craig

Duncan, who faces Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley in the Democratic primary, said he would veto any proposal in Maryland to limit access to abortions. Duncan, a devout Catholic, also said he will push for legislation to increase access to birth control and emergency contraception, including the so-called "morning after pill."

"As Maryland's pro-choice governor, I will keep working to make sure we have healthy families," Duncan said.

After his speech, a reporter asked Duncan if he always been an abortion rights supporter. Duncan would only say he's been an abortion rights supporter since he started holding public office in the late 1980s.

As for his views conflicting with the teachings of the Catholic Church, Duncan said "anybody who is an elected official and a Catholic has to struggle with that."

O'Malley is also Catholic and an advocate of abortion rights. Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich supports abortion rights in some, but not all instances.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  March 2, 2006; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Great point! What's O'Malley's position on this issue?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Is being a "pro-choice governor" the same as being "an advocate of abortion rights"? Are you making a distinction between the two Democrats on this issue or do they actually have the same position --that a woman has and should have the right to choose? I'll vote on this issue and really care about the distinction if there is one.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley's position is exactly the same, he just hasn't been that vocal about it. He addressed that exact question during an appearance in Leisure World last week. He is absolutely pro-choice.

Duncan thinks he can distinguish himself on the issue just by being louder about it.

Posted by: KR | March 6, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

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