Democratic Senate candidate has abortion record questioned

Democratic Senate candidate John Bohlinger supported some legislation to restrict abortion rights in Montana, according to a local blog, votes that don't match his rhetoric.

Bohlinger, who is the the former Lieutenant Gov. of Montana, recently announced a bid against Montana Lieutenant Gov. John Walsh (D), who is favored by the party for retiring Sen. Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) seat. Bohlinger wrote on his Facebook wall that he "consistently voted for a woman's right to choose" while a state legislator, according to The liberal Montana blog Intelligent Disconnect.

That blog argues that isn't true, pointing to a low lifetime score from the NARAL Pro-Choice Montana group and a number of votes he took in the legislature. Bohlinger, who served as a Republican in the statehouse and alongside Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) before switching parties for this campaign, voted for the "Fetal Protection Act" in 2001, as well as for laws to ban partial-birth abortion and for parental consent requirements for teenages to be able to get abortions in Montana.

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The blog also points to a complaint Bohlinger filed disputing a claim from a GOP primary opponent that he was "for abortion."

"I have never stated I was for abortions. [A]bortion is a poor choice, we should prevent the pregnancy or work for adoption. The abortion question does not belong in the Montana Legislature, because the United States Supreme Court has ruled that in this country, abortions are legal. In spite of what we may personally think about the question, the Montana Legislature will not be able to overturn a Supreme Court decision," he wrote in the legal filing.

National Democrats have united around Walsh and against Bohlinger: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is backing Walsh, Tester has endorsed him and Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly asked Bohlinger to drop out of the race after he announced. Democrats are hoping to avoid a divisive primary so they can maintain hope of defeating Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for the seat.

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