Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin would not give a clear answer on his position on abortion during a debate in West Virginia Thursday night against GOP challenger and state attorney general Patrick Morrisey.
Asked about how he will vote on a proposed amendment to the West Virginia Constitution that would prohibit state funding of elective abortions for women on Medicaid, Manchin responded:
I was born into a pro-life family. I was raised pro-life and I have always voted pro-life my entire public career, with the exceptions of the life of the mother, rape and incest. I’ve been very clear about that and the Republican legislature had a chance to fix this and make it right. They had a chance to fix it and basically put in case of the life of the mother, rape or incest. They decided to make it political – they decided to make it political, with the help of Patrick Morrissey, and the only thing I’ve said if those exclusions are not in there it is not something we should be voting on. It should be something that we should be working so the pro-life Democrats, pro-life Republicans that believe that I do – that it’s reasonable to have the exceptions for the life of the mother, incest, and rape.
When pressed on whether he would vote on the amendment on the ballot, Manchin said, “If the amendment does not have that in there – no.”
“As the amendment stands now, you are against the amendment,” moderator and MetroNews Talkline host Hoppy Kercheval continued.
“Because it does not have the exceptions of incest, rape, and the life of the mother,” Manchin said.
The West Virginia Democrat has drawn the ire of pro-life groups due to his claim he is pro-life, despite the fact he has voted to continue taxpayer funding to abortion business Planned Parenthood. Manchin has also posed with both pro-life and pro-abortion rights advocates.
The national pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), however, has launched a new ad – part of a $500,000 campaign in the state – urging West Virginians to vote “no” on Manchin.
“Joe Manchin tells West Virginians he’s pro-life but has voted repeatedly to send taxpayer dollars to the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood,” said SBA List spokeswoman Mallory Quigley, adding:
Not only has Planned Parenthood cornered the market on abortion in the U.S. – accounting for a third of all abortions nationally – their top executives were caught on tape by Center for Medical Progress discussing their involvement in the grotesque and grisly baby body parts trade.
“West Virginians deserve a senator who will stand with them – not with Chuck Schumer and the extreme abortion lobby which supports abortion-on-demand up until the moment of birth,” Quigley said.