Scott Morgan, Republican candidate for the 2nd District congressional seat, outlined his stand on abortion and attacked the incumbent's voting record on the issue during a press conference this morning.
Meeting with reporters at the Lawrence Public Library, Morgan said he is "pro-choice" on the abortion issue.
"I am willing to take the necessary steps at the federal level to protect a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion," he said.
Statements by Rep. Jim Slattery, the incumbent, about his views on the abortion issue do not jibe with votes he has cast, Morgan said.
Morgan passed out information saying that Slattery voted against federal assistance for victims of rape or incest and has consistently voted against federal assistance for abortion when a woman's health is in danger.
MORGAN, 33, also said Slattery voted "anti-choice" eight out of 10 times over the last two years, according to Planned Parenthood.
"And yet he calls himself pro-choice," Morgan said.
A spokesman in Slattery's Washington office issued a statement from the congressman on the abortion issue this morning.
"Government should have a very limited role in what is essentially a matter of individual morality and responsibility," the statement said. "I have voted in Congress according to that belief."
In the statement, Slattery said he is against abortion when it is used as a means of birth control and said "it is a tragedy that a million and one-half abortions are performed in this country each year."
But Slattery went on to say he does not believe government should make decisions regarding abortion, and he has not supported a human life amendment or a repeal of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
MORGAN said his view on abortion for the most part coincides with other Republican leaders in Kansas, including Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and Gov. Mike Hayden.
"I think my view pretty well reflects the views of young Republicans who are fiscally conservative but not so traditionally conservative on social issues," he said.
Morgan also said he supports a "Freedom of Choice Act" that is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. Slattery said he does not support this bill because it could restrict the ability of the state to enact any limitation on abortion, including parental notification.
Slattery also said there are some limited situations, such as when the life of the mother is threatened or when rape or incest are involved, in which government funding for abortion is appropriate.
SLATTERY said Morgan "apparently was not troubled when he worked for the presidential campaign of Sen. (Bob) Dole, who championed the Human Rights Amendment."
Morgan said he would support government funding for abortion for Medicaid-eligible people.
"I view abortion as a health question and believe it should be regulated as such," he said. "The incumbent flip-flops around and sometimes votes for and sometimes against federal assistance for abortion even when a woman's life is in danger."
"He (Slattery) says he's pro-choice but he doesn't vote to protect the right," Morgan said. "You need government intervention to protect" the right to abortion.