Earlier this week I broke the news of the first Democrat candidate for statewide office in North Dakota. State Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla is running for governor.
Yesterday evening Mike Nowatzki published an interview with Nelson, and he revealed something pretty interesting about his stance on what has been one of the most controversial areas of public policy in our state over the last several years.
Turns out Nelson is fairly pro-life. In fact, Nelson might be the most reliably pro-life candidate in the 2016 gubernatorial race, Republicans included. Which hugely ironic given that, for the last several years, Democrats have been ranting endlessly about “extreme” abortion bills and the “war on women” they supposedly represent.
From Nowatzki’s article:
His position on abortion is complicated, he said, noting he has voted both for and against abortion-restricting legislation.
“My wife and I, we have two children, and we lost five before birth, and that’s a pretty tough thing,” he said. “And I think of those children – and I do think of them as my children – and I really wish there weren’t abortions. At the same time, I look at society and I see a lot of people who campaign against abortions and then they go and have them anyway.”
In 2013, Nelson supported a bill banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, but he said Tuesday that, “Looking back on it, that was probably a mistake.”
Nelson has been in the Legislature since 2010, which means he was serving in the House during the 2013 session when lawmakers passed a raft of pro-life bills (most of which have stuck despite legal challenges).
According to the North Dakota Family Alliance’s scorecard of the 2013 session, Nelson voted for HB1305 (a ban on abortion for genetic selection), HB1456 (a ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected), and SCR4009 which was a constitutional amendment recognizing that human life exists at all stages of human development.
That last, because constitutional amendments in North Dakota must be approved by a vote of the people, became the hugely controversial Measure 1 on the 2014 ballot (where it was defeated).
That’s a more solidly pro-life voting record that state Rep. Rick Becker, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, can boast. Becker voted against all three of those bills, though he has since changed his position.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who is also seeking the Republican nomination, started off his campaign saying he didn’t want to be described as pro-life, though he is using that term for himself now and he did tell me he would have signed the state’s pro-life legislation had he been governor.
Fargo business Doug Burgum, the third Republican in the Republican nomination race, is pro-choice. He just won’t come out and say it.
So, in summary, the Democrat candidate for governor probably has the strongest pro-life political record in the governor race.
I can’t stop laughing. I can’t wait to hear Democrat party leaders explain Nelson’s pro-life record to their left-wing base during the campaign.