Where does Doug Jones — Roy Moore’s opponent — stand on abortion?
Alabama is holding a special election today, and it’s a big deal on both a local and national level. Republican and accused child abuser Roy Moore goes head-to-head with Democrat Doug Jones for the Alabama Senate seat.
Jones’ campaign has arguably been overshadowed by Moore’s alleged past misconduct, meaning many still have basic questions about his record and platform — perhaps most notably, Doug Jones’ stance on abortion.
Unfortunately, his views are slightly murky. Back in September, Jones did an on-air interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, and his responses indicated that he supports a woman’s right to choose during the entire length of her pregnancy. Specifically, he said,
"I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body. And I'm going to stand up for that, and I'm going to make sure that continues to happen. I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that's what they choose to do. I think that's an issue that we can work with and talk to people about on both sides of the aisle."
Currently, abortions after 20 weeks are banned in the state of Alabama, and Jones’ response led Todd and viewers to believe that he didn’t support the current law. When Todd asked if he did, Jones said, “I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have. But I want people to understand that once that baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right-to-lifer.”
The response alienated many voters, as Alabama is traditionally a red state that votes in pro-life conservatives. Moore, who does not believe in a woman’s right to choose (and, in fact, would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned) took advantage of the backlash, and claimed that Jones supports “late-term abortions.” Jones then clarified his remarks with AL.com, saying,
"To be clear, I fully support a woman's freedom to choose what happens to her own body. That is an intensely, intensely personal decision that only she, in consultation with her god, her doctor, her partner or family, that's her choice. Having said that, the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support. I don't see any changes in that. It is a personal decision."
Jones essentially stated that he supports a woman’s right to choose, but he also still supports Alabama’s current legislation on late-term abortions — which is that they can only be granted for medical reasons.
Jones’ official stance, according to a statement from his team, is that he supports abortion rights, up until a certain point in the pregnancy.
A candidate’s stance on abortion can very well be the make-or-break issue in a state like Alabama, and we will be monitoring the situation closely throughout the day.