Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Harry Reid: The Next (Pro-Life) Senate Minority Leader?

Do you know who Harry Reid is? If not, you probably will soon be hearing a lot about him. Until last night, he was the second-ranking Democratic member of the U.S. Senate. With Daschle's defeat, Reid is in a good position to become the Senate Minority Leader. Reid is a practicing Mormon and a senator who has earned the respect of both Democrats and Republicans.

Those of us who are concerned about pro-life issues have been focused upon the election of pro-life candidates. But I, for one, had not yet seen that Daschle's defeat could set things in motion for a moderately pro-life Senate Minority Leader. Some pro-choice activists seem to be worried.

Despite signing a letter to President Bush pushing for an expansion of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Reid voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, voted in favor of the both the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000 and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, voted in favor of repealing the use of Dept. of Defense facilities for privately funded abortions, and voted against a non-binding sense-of-the-Senate resolution declaring Roe v. Wade "an appropriate decision" that "secures an important constitutional right." In 2003 Reid received a legislative score of 29% from NARAL Pro-Choice America (one of the lowest scores for Senate Democrats), and a 55% rating from the NRLC (one of the highest scores give to Senate Democrats). Reid has also been involved with filibustering President Bush's judicial nominations, so I'm not making any rosey predictions. I simply note that it would be interesting indeed if the Senate Minority Leader was a moderately pro-life Democrat.