The results of the 2022 election could very well hinge on the issue of abortion rights, particularly if the U.S. Supreme Court ends up overturning Roe v. Wade this summer.
Republicans know that this is a problem for them, which is why the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has been advising anyone who will listen that they should focus talking points on the “leaked opinion” from the Supreme Court rather than discussing abortion rights in general. Americans support abortion rights by a 2-to-1 margin, and those numbers are even larger in Colorado.
Here in Colorado, smart Republicans know that this is a big problem for them in November, but it’s going to be a tough topic to square with the Republican base. For one thing, many Republican candidates legitimately believe in their opposition to abortion rights. Some GOP candidates oppose abortion rights but won’t talk about it. And then there’s Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea…who dances himself dizzy whenever the subject comes up.
On Saturday, Joe O’Dancing was a guest of right-wing talk show host Jimmy Sengenberger on KNUS radio. Late in the interview, Sengenberger asked Mr. O’Dancing where he stood on the issue of abortion, particularly in the wake of the news that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. Tell the DJ that he can start the music:
SENGENBERGER: Are you not pro life? Where do you fall on the issue of abortion?
O’DEA: It’s a really complicated issue. It really is. I’m adopted, I’m Catholic, and personally, I am very pro-life. But at the same time I’ve grown up, all my life, thinking government doesn’t need to be involved in our lives. [Pols emphasis] And so, I, right now, in my mind, I would not support overturning Roe v. Wade. I don’t believe that’s the right thing for Coloradans.
At the same time, we’ve got this bill that just came through the House – the Gold Dome – that’s supported by all Democrats that would approve late-term abortions, and I can’t get my head around that. This is a very complicated issue for a lot of Coloradans, and I don’t think it’s as simple as 100% pro choice, 100% pro life. You know, all of us have different experiences in our lives, and so, you know, we need to be able to rely on ourselves. And that’s where I land.
SENGENBERGER: And so, in the context of more compassionate than some on the far right, what does that mean in your…
O’DEA: Well, there’s some people that just draw the line and say, ‘pro-life, every day, all day,’ and there’s others who say, ‘pro-choice all the way up until, you know, the baby is in the birth canal.’ I can’t support either one of those. I’ve landed in the middle, that’s where my head’s at, and that’s where I’ve always been.
SENGENBERGER: I think when we look at Colorado, it’s an interesting state in that regard. I think that there are restrictions on abortion that we must pass in Colorado that are much more practical than anything that…a lot of times, people think, ‘well, we need to go for Personhood amendment.’ I think there are other ways to approach that in a state like Colorado in that regard…
O’DEA: It’s an extremely complicated issue, and everybody has different experiences and they’re coming at it differently. At the core of it, government needs to get out of our lives, so that’s kind of where I’m going to land.
SENGENBERGER: But more restrictions on abortion than we have in Colorado?
O’DEA: Right now, yes. That last law is outrageous.
Whoa, there, Joe — you’re gonna pull a muscle dancing around like that.
Joe O’Dea literally said all of these things over the span of about 90 seconds:
♦ “Personally, I am very pro-life.”
♦ “You know, all of us have different experiences in our lives, and so, you know, we need to be able to rely on ourselves.”
♦ “At the core of it, government needs to get out of our lives
♦ “Right now, yes,” Colorado needs to have more abortion restrictions in the law.
♦ The Colorado Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), which would allow women access to abortion rights even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, is quote, “outrageous.”
If we were Republican Senate candidate Ron Hanks, we’d be cutting this up for a June Primary ad right now (of course, if we were Ron Hanks, we also wouldn’t have a lot of money for things like “television ads”).
This isn’t the first time that Joe O’Dancing has taken multiple different positions on the issue of abortion in the same interview. It is certainly a bit confounding that he keeps making the same mistake over and over again.
In his quest to stay in an untenable “center” on abortion rights, Joe O’Dea ends up just being nowhere at all. And he already let the horse out of the barn anyway. Once you say, “personally, I am very pro-life,” you’ve planted your flag on abortion rights — no matter how many times you add that “this is a complicated issue.”
Where does Joe O’Dea stand on the issue of abortion rights?