Abortion Votes Risky for GOP, Democrats (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Mar. 10, 2013 4:32 pm  

"I'm not focused on that anymore," Carter, R-Cabot, told reporters when asked about the proposed abortion restrictions. "I'm focused on these other things."

The abortion votes, however, expose a deeper divide for Democrats as they try to find the right balance. Many have tried to follow the lead of Gov. Mike Beebe, a popular Democrat who has focused more on the constitutionality of the measures more than the larger debate on abortion.

"You know, you put your hand on the Bible and you're supposed to swear to uphold the constitution. It should mean something," Beebe said, referring to his oath of office.

But it is still a tricky line for Democratic lawmakers to follow, especially those who go before voters next year. Several Democrats in both chambers voted for the 12-week and 20-week abortion bans, but immediately voted against overriding Beebe's veto on the measures.

"It's one of those inconsistencies you've just got to live with," Sen. Larry Teague, a Democrat who backed both bans but voted against the overrides, said last week.

In less than 20 months, Democrats and Republicans will discover whether voters can live with any of the inconsistencies in this debate.

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