Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie would not be pinned down on the abortion rights question in yesterday's on-air VPR debate.
When Democrat Peter Shumlin asked him whether he'd sign or veto legislation restricting a woman's right to choose, Dubie, who is staunchly pro-life, ducked the question by saying his campaign is all about jobs.
"I’m not going to answer every hypothetical," Dubie said. "It’s a federal issue. The state of Vermont is not going to overturn federal law. What you’re trying to do is divert Vermonters from the issues.”
Shumlin replied, "I'm not buying it."
The thing is, it's not hypothetical. Legislation requiring parental notification or parental consent for minors to get abortions has apparently been introduced in the Vermont statehouse annually for the last two decades. Governors and legislative leaders supportive of abortion rights have continually stopped these bills in their tracks.
Today, Vermont is one of only 17 states without parental notification and/or parental consent laws on the books.
Would it be different if the governor was pro-life?
Dubie was cagey too when Seven Days asked him the abortion question during an interview for a candidate profile I wrote back in July. But after he was pressed, Dubie gave a clear, if somewhat noncommittal, answer. Here's how it went:
Seven Days: Do you support as policies either a parental notification or parental consent law for Vermont?
Brian Dubie: Well, you know. This comes up from time to time in the legislature. My agenda is to grow jobs. That's my agenda. So really the agenda that I'm putting forward as Vermont's next governor is to grow jobs. Tha's why I'm running for governor.
SD: But if this legislation were to find its way through the legislature, you'd be in the governor's office. You'd be in the position of either signing, vetoing or doing nothing.
Dubie: I'm supportive of involving parents in everything as it relates to their children. I have always been supportive of parental involvement in educational issues, certainly in health issues. I would be generally supportive of that legislation. My agenda is to grow jobs.