In endorsing incumbent state Senator Andy Hill (R-45), the Seattle Times attempts to smooth over how poorly the Republican fits his otherwise Democratic district by stressing his alleged support for, amongst other things, “abortion rights”:
Hill represents his socially liberal district, supporting abortion rights, gay marriage and the state allowing students without legal residency status access to financial aid. In contrast to his data-driven approach, he shows a lack of curiosity about climate change and the overwhelming scientific consensus of its threats: “You can find scientists on either side.” He believes carbon should be tackled, however, to diminish U.S. dependency on foreign oil.*
And how do the editors know that Hill supports abortion rights? He told them so. And that apparently is good enough for them.
But actions speak louder than words, and in the only major abortion rights bill before the state senate, Hill has repeatedly voted to block the Reproductive Parity Act from going to the floor for a vote. So exactly what does Hill mean when he says he supports abortion rights, if he’s proven to be a reliable vote against it?
We’ve got no idea. Most candidates who truly support reproductive rights—possibly all candidates who support it—seek the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. But not Hill, who has refused to fill out questionnaires from either. “If he is ‘pro-choice’ or supportive of ‘abortion rights’ like the Times claims,” asks Erik Houser of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, “then why didn’t he seek our endorsement?”
Um, because he’s not as pro-choice or supportive of abortion rights as the Seattle Times claims? Had Hill bothered to fill out Planned Parenthood’s questionnaire, voters would have a better idea of how nuanced Hill’s position might be. But he didn’t. Houser says they sent the questionnaire to him twice, but Hill ignored it both times.
Again, actions speak louder than words.
So voters will just have to go on Hill’s legislative record and his snubbing of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. He can talk all he wants about supporting abortion rights, but when it comes to the only relevant bill before the senate, Hill has already repeatedly voted no on reproductive rights, whereas his Democratic opponent, Matt Isenhower, is endorsed by both Planned Parenthood and NARAL. And for socially liberal voters in Hill’s socially liberal district, that’s all they really need to know.*
* Though that not believing in climate change thing is pretty off-putting too.