Mark French, candidate for HD14 (northwest of Missoula), made remarks about abortion on a candidate questionnaire – posted to his Facebook page – that the Gazette reported upon last week. French’s initial comments on the subject rose some ire from pro-life Repubilcans but the candidate has gone on the record to explain his words and affirm his pro-life position.
French told his constituents on Facebook, “The fourth amendment allows people to do whatever they choose behind their threshold. God is plenty capable of dealing with people behind their threshold. He will do a better job than [Government]” (see below).
However, French soon explained that his choice of words was unfortunate and that he is, indeed, pro-life.
French told the Gazette, “We should not be regulating Abortion Clinics. They should be illegal and non-existent. The State should not be issuing a license to them. Issuing a license is an endorsement and officials that have their hand in it are accomplices.”
French also explained that his initial answers to the questionnaire were made upon the premise that abortion clinics should not be licensed and abortion should not be legal at all, hence other regulations were unnecessary. According to French, his remarks about the 4th Amendment and the ‘threshold’ issue were presupposing that abortion clinics would already be out of business.
He continued, “Again, since abortion clinics should not be licensed at all and prohibited, even though they are currently legal, I would be in favor of forcing them to provide counseling prior to the procedure. Forced counseling sounds spooky to me(wicked abortion clinic chosen counselors may counsel the wrong way), but at least in some situations, counseling may be good. If nothing else the ‘cooling-off’ time might help just making them think about what they are doing and get out of the heat of the moment.”
French re-answered the questions presupposing that these regulations would be incrementalist steps to curtail the abortion industry and not serve the place of tougher legislation meant to end abortion altogether, and so he provided different answers.
It seems that French has not changed his position, so much as qualified his answers to be less confusing.
Promising to be the most pro-life representative serving the Montana Legislature if elected, French added, “I confess my shortcomings in dealing with this survey. I am sorry for the confusion. I still choose to be transparent so I risk putting things out there for all to see. I must be more careful in getting my stuff proof-read before I release it, so it actually portrays what I believe.”
French’s opponent, Denley Loge, has an F-ranking in party loyalty. Perhaps there is a conservative alternative in HD14 after all.