To fill Obama's former Senate seat, the February Illinois primary election ballot reflects the state's soaring abortion rates. The Democrat ballot favors abortion 100%, while the Republican ballot is headed by the media's favorite (homosexual?) Mark Kirk.
In contrast, GOP candidate Patrick Hughes says he believes that life begins at conception: "I would vote for more restrictions on abortion and help protect the lives of every American, born and unborn."
UPDATE 9/25/10: Only Pro-life Illinois Senate Candidate is Libertarian
UPDATE 6/6/10: Mark Kirk solicits Planned Parenthood support
UPDATE 2/12/10: Primary Winner Mark Kirk Backed by John McCain
-- From "Illinois U.S. Senate election: Abortion issue divides candidates" by Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune reporter 1/4/10
Responding to a Tribune survey on social issues, contenders for the Feb. 2 Democratic and Republican primary nominations for the U.S. Senate generally spoke of the need to encourage programs to reduce abortion in the country. But they diverged when asked how they would vote on abortion policy.
Democrats Alexi Giannoulias, Cheryle Jackson, David Hoffman, Jacob Meister and Robert Marshall all said they backed a woman's right to have an abortion. Among Republicans, Pat Hughes, John Arrington and Kathleen Thomas expressed support for more restrictive policies on abortion, while Mark Kirk, a five-term congressman, supported abortion rights.
The Republican split reflects the division among GOP voters on abortion, with core conservatives opposing it and social moderates supporting abortion rights to some degree.
A Tribune poll last month of likely Republican primary voters found half believe more restrictions should be placed on abortion, 32 percent said current regulations should remain in place and only 8 percent said fewer restrictions should be imposed. In 2008, the most recent year from which state statistics are available, 47,717 abortions were performed in Illinois.
Thomas, a Springfield researcher at the state's historic preservation agency, said she would "work to remove the abortion issue from the federal realm to the states" for regulation. Arrington, a Harvey resident who is the lone African-American Republican contender, said opposing abortion was "a passion and a priority for me" and contended that the procedure is a "silent genocide" in the black community.
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Click here for more background on GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk.