You’d think a hard line against abortion is one way to not get elected in a deep blue state like New York, but Republican State Senate candidate Rich Funke is proving otherwise. A new Siena poll shows him up by 25 points over the incumbent Democrat Ted O’Brien in the state's 55th district.
Specifically, Funke is campaigning against the tenth point of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which would expand abortion access in the state. Funke told a local New York news station why he cannot support such legislation:
“I can't support the notion that abortions could be performed up to the day of birth,” said Funke. “I can't support the notion that abortions could be performed by non-doctors. This is a health issue, this isn't pro-life or pro-choice. this is a health issue to me.”
O’Brien said Funke is merely trying to distort the act’s language.
Funke only finds fault with this specific section of Cuomo’s plan, yet that didn’t stop pro-abortion protesters from picketing outside of Funke’s campaign office in Rochester. A quick count from this local news report shows a whopping eight people showed up, some representing Planned Parenthood, others the National Organization for Women, to wave their “Women are Watching” signs. The Executive Director of Planned Parenthood for Central & Western New York, Betty DeFazio said Funke needs to “explain his rhetoric.”
Despite these protesters' efforts, Funke is winning. Perhaps that's because he's not afraid to answer these "war on women" accusations, insisting that he is for women’s rights. More Republican candidates need to take Funke's approach this election season.
Abortion has devastating consequences not just for the unborn baby, but for the mother involved. Studies have proven that post-abortive women often deal with alcohol and drug abuse, or struggle with feelings of guilt and depression. Considering these dangerous effects, it looks like it’s Cuomo and O'Brien who need to do some explaining.