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Boston and Beyond

June 7, 2013

GOP's 'pro-life' Gomez: I'd oppose abortion waiting period

BOSTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez is trying to clarify a comment he made during his debate with Democrat Edward Markey.

Asked near the end of Wednesday's matchup if he could support a law requiring a woman to wait 24 hours and review information about the development of a fetus before having an abortion, Gomez said that while he's personally "pro-life" he isn't interested in changing abortion law.

Gomez then suggested he could support the waiting period.

"I think asking somebody to wait 24 hours before they can actually go have an abortion is not asking a lot," he said.

A spokesman sought to clarify the comment Wednesday, and yesterday, Gomez told reporters that if the question of mandating 24-hour waiting periods ever came up for a vote in the Senate, he would vote against it.

Abortion rights activists had seized on the comment.

They also pointed to a comment by Gomez during the debate when he said he could vote for a Supreme Court nominee who opposes abortion. Gomez said there shouldn't be litmus tests for court nominees.

Markey said he opposes abortion waiting periods. He said there should be a litmus test when it comes to abortion. He said he would only vote for a Supreme Court nominee who favors abortion rights.

Andrew Zucker, a spokesman for Markey, said, "It's clear that Gomez can't be trusted to protect a woman's right to choose."

Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, which supports Markey, issued a statement Thursday saying waiting periods "are designed to shame women and make it more difficult for them to obtain the safe and legal health care that is their constitutional right."

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