6/7/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
Next Tuesday, Mainers will take to the polls for the 2018 primaries.
Voters will have many decisions to make — not least among them, which gubernatorial candidate to select from the eclectic field.
If you’re planning to vote in the Democrat primary, I’m not sure why you’re reading this.
However, many GOP voters will base their decision largely on social issues, and chief among them, Life.
Pro-Life is one of the defining stances for Republicans. And in legislative races, there are many options for lawmakers to reduce abortions should they be elected to office.
But aside from using the Pro-Life issue as a measuring stick to gauge character, there is very little the Governor of Maine can do on the topic.
Maine First Media asked former Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Paul LePage, Aaron Chadbourne what a governor can do to reduce abortions in the state. Chadbourne is uniquely familiar with the role the governor can play in state policy.
Chadbourne — a Pro-Life, Christian Conservative — explained, unlike the legislature, the governor’s options are very limited.
“There might be some discretion at DHHS,” Chadbourne said. “But most of it is in the law.”
Chadbourne added the governor could introduce legislation limiting abortions and then use the bully pulpit to push for the restrictions. But it is then up to legislators to vote for the bill.
That leaves the veto pen as the biggest difference-maker for gubernatorial candidates on the Life issue. The question is, if elected governor, would you sign legislation like the Heartbeat bill — banning abortions after a heartbeat is established — or would you veto the bill?
Maine First Media posed that question to all four GOP gubernatorial hopefuls. Mary Mayhew was the only candidate who took the opportunity to share their stance with our readers.
“To protect the lives of the unborn, I would support legislation to ban abortions after 12 weeks when a heartbeat should be clearly and easily detected in all pregnancies,” Mayhew said.
The Christian Civic League of Maine’s voter guide has received a lot of attention this primary season. Shawn Moody, Garrett Mason and Ken Fredette all are listed as “supporting” Pro-Life. Whereas Mary Mayhew is listed as “mixed.”
However, if you look at her answer, she would do everything within a governor’s power to reduce abortions. She’s for parental consent and waiting periods and publically speaks on abortion not being used as birth control. Mayhew even talks about the dangers of the prevalence of casual sex in today’s society.
But Mayhew is not all talk on this issue. And while many hold the Life issue against her as a weakness, Mayhew has done more in the effort to reduce abortion in Maine than any other candidate. How? By aggressively attacking public funding of abortions.
Mayhew went after Family Planning with lawsuits and submitted a DHHS budget that defunded Planned Parenthood of all state aid.
Meanwhile, Garrett Mason is the candidate most linked to social conservative issues. Many Mason supporters plan to vote for him because of his Christian Conservative background. And we have no doubt Mason is Pro-Life. However, in his time as a lawmaker, he’s done surprisingly little on the subject.
In fact, his biggest claim to infamy on the issue may be his failure to secure parental notification legislation.
In 2015, a parental consent bill originated in Senate, sponsored by Sen. Paul Davis. Legislative insiders explain to Maine First Media; there was a deal struck between Senate Republicans and long-time swamp dweller, Rep. John Martin. Rep. Martin said he could deliver enough traditionally Pro-Life, Franco-Catholic Democrats to pass parental consent in the House — if it first passed the Senate.
With the Senate GOP holding a majority, that should have been easy. However, Republican Sen. Kim Rosen flipped her vote and joined with fellow RINO Senators Roger Katz and Brian Langley, causing the bill to fail 17-18.
Mason did vote for and advocate for the parental consent bill. However, Sen. Mason was the Majority Leader of the State Senate. He failed to deliver three votes from his caucus. Due to a failure to whip the Senate GOP caucus, underage girls in Maine can abort their babies without any notification to the minor’s parents.
Again, to be clear, Mason is a strong Pro-Life voice. And he did vote in favor of the bill. The three politicians most responsible for the failure of the bill are RINO’s Sen. Rosen, Sen. Langley and Sen. Katz, along with the Democrat Party. However, had Mason and the rest of the Senate GOP Majority “leadership” been more effective leaders, parental consent could very well be the law of the land today.
Due to the limits on what Pro-Life maneuvers a governor can make — all four candidates (as well as potential write-in candidate Aaron Chadbourne) appear to be prepared to do everything they can do as governor to reduce abortions in Maine.