State Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, declined to comment about his views on abortion in a New York Times article Wednesday, saying people weren’t really asking about the issue this election year.
However, the 4th Congressional District candidate has not only commented on the topic in the past but has sponsored pro-life legislation and supported ballot issues such as the personhood initiative, designed to criminalize choice in reproductive services.
The New York Times reported that, “Mr. Gardner, pressed several times in an interview for his views on abortion and same-sex marriage, simply declined to answer. ‘Those issues haven’t come up very often,’ he said.”
However, those issues have come up constantly in his career as a state lawmaker, as he has consistently worked on legislation that supports a conservative social agenda, including right to life and the sanctity of marriage. In doing so, he has supported the personhood initiative, which would give constitutional rights to zygotes, both this year and in the last election cycle.
His refusal to comment seems odd given his attendance of personhood rallies and his admission he’s worked to garner signatures for the initiative to get on the November ballot.
During a 9 News-sponsored debate (see here ) in February, Gardner said he not only supported the personhood initiative, which would criminalize stem cell research, abortion, some types of birth control, and curtail in vitro fertilization in the state, but added, “I have taken the petitions to my church and have a legislative record that backs up my support for life.”
Gardner in 2007 sponsored a bill that would have prohibited abortion in Colorado, with the exception of protecting the health of the mother.
But beyond the abortion debate, Gardner has stuck to his guns on things like same-sex couples rearing children. He voted against HB 1330 in 2007, a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to jointly have custody of a child through adoption in what was termed the “second parent adoption” bill. Social conservatives vowed to fight .
Gardner also voted against SB 200 in 2008, a controversial bill that was aimed at ending discriminatory behavior towards gays, lesbians, and trans-gender people across the board.
Gardner also voted against health insurance benefits for reproductive services in Colorado, voted not to repeal the death penalty, and sought to make the killing of a fetus a class-two felony.
“Clearly Cory Gardner will say anything to get elected, even deceiving Coloradans by saying that these issues haven’t come up on the campaign trail when Gardner himself has discussed them on more than one occasion,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Western Regional Press Secretary Andrew Stone said.