Colorado Senator Mark Udall has attacked his opponent, Republican congressman Cory Gardner, on the campaign trail for his stance against abortion. Democrats have sought to paint Gardner as an extremist, and many consider Gardner’s pro-life positions a vulnerability among women in a state where female voter registration is greater than male voter registration and among women who voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012.
But at a debate held by the Denver Post, a moderator began with a question to clarify Udall’s own position on abortion: ”We know that you support a women’s right to choose, but given the advances in the scientific understanding of fetal development, where pregnant mothers know at which week their babies grow fingernails and can swallow, would you support a ban on late-term abortions and if so, at what week?” Udall answered by calling the question a diversion from the differences between Udall and Gardner, and said Gardner built his political career by working to ban abortion and contraception. “Where we stand, and where Colorado voters stand, is trusting a woman to make the decisions that are best for her and her family,” he said. “There are situations where there are late-term abortions are found to be necessary.” Udall told a story about a pregnant woman who found out the child she was carrying had a brain deformity and said it would be wrong for people to interfere if the woman decided to end the life of her child. Udall failed to identify any circumstances under which abortion should be restricted in his answer.