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What Is Charlie Crist's Position on Abortion?

4 years ago
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Jason O'Bryan
Charlie Christ, the governor of Florida, is running as an independent for the U.S. Senate in a three-way race against four-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio, former speaker of the Florida state House. As part of a Politics Daily series providing background about the major candidates in 2010, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about his platform positions.

What is Charlie Crist's position on abortion?

Crist is anti-abortion, though his position's authenticity has been called into question by both his opponents and various anti-abortion publications. His overall record suggests that he doesn't support overturning Roe v. Wade, but does support some restrictions.

Has Charlie Crist's position on abortion changed over the years?

Yes. Crist ran for the U.S. Senate in 1998 against Democratic incumbent Bob Graham as as self-described "pro-choice, but not pro-abortion" candidate. In his successful campaign for governor of Florida in 2006, however, he identified as anti-abortion, as he still does today. After he switched from Republican to independent in April, his opponents did accuse him of scrubbing his website of all anti-abortion information in an attempt to appeal to moderates.

Has Charlie Crist ever sponsored any abortion-oriented legislation?

No.

Has abortion been an issue in Charlie Crist's campaign so far?

Yes. Marco Rubio has accused Crist of "flip-flopping" on abortion in particular, with the issue being used by Rubio as an insult to Crist's integrity. Abortion has also been brought up by Crist himself to distinguish between his moderate views and the reactionary views of his chief opponent. "My opponent [Rubio] wants to literally overturn Roe vs. Wade," Crist has said, "I think that will frighten and concern women, and rightly so." As governor, Crist vetoed a bill in June that would require pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before being allowed to have an abortion, drawing more criticism from Rubio and wary praise from abortion-rights advocates.

What ratings has Charlie Crist received from both NARAL Pro-Choice America (the leading pro-choice watchdog), and the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC, its pro-life counterpart)?

Both organizations only rate politicians on a national level, so Crist is without a rating. He has drawn neither's endorsement, however, with the NRLC endorsing Rubio and NARAL stating that he is "anti-choice."

Read Charlie Crist's full bio on his website.

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