EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

June 6, 2013

Senate candidates Gomez, Markey clash in debate

BOSTON (AP) — Democrat Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez clashed in their first debate in Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election last night, sparring on abortion, national security and gun issues.

One of the fiercest exchanges came at the very end of the hour-long match-up and focused on the issue of abortion.

Asked if he could support a law that would require women to wait 24 hours and review information about the development of a fetus before having an abortion, Gomez stated that while he is 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.

Markey described himself as “pro-choice.”

“I think the decision should be between the woman and her physician. That’s it. The woman makes the decision, not some law that’s imposed by politicians,” he said.

Gomez also said he could vote for a Supreme Court nominee who is opposed to abortion.

“If the judge comes in front of me and they follow the constitution and they’re ethical and they’re pro-choice and they’ve done a good job. I’ll vote for them. If they’re pro-life, I’ll vote for them,” he said. “There should be no litmus test.”

Markey said there should be a litmus test when it comes to abortion.

“I have a litmus test. I would not vote for a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade,” he said.

The two also has a sharp exchange over the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya and Massachusetts native Glen Doherty, who was working as a private security contractor at the consulate.

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