Suozzi is the right choice: Pilip keeps wavering on abortion
February 10, 2024
Publication: New York Daily News
By: New York Daily News Editorial Board
In her one and only debate with Democratic opponent Tom Suozzi this week, Mazi Pilip — the GOP candidate to replace disgraced former Con(gress)man George Santos — proved at least she didn’t have Santos’ easy capacity to lie by tripping all over herself in trying to address the simple question of whether she supports access to abortion.
The mother of seven, Pilip went into an indignant soliloquy over her own decision to have children and stated that “abortion is a personal decision” while also characterizing herself as “pro-life,” all before stumbling to the conclusion that she would not support a national abortion ban. Questioned later by a reporter, she asserted she was actually pro-choice.
Pro-life and pro-choice. All things to all people. Or a cipher. The Republican Party bosses backing her bid (she remains a registered Democrat) are pro-life; the majority of the people of the Nassau/Queens district are pro-choice.
It’s also not entirely clear how Pilip thinks an espoused belief in this personal decision squares with her stated view that the Supreme Court made the right decision in the Dobbs case. So, is it a personal decision, or can the government impose limitations that amount to or include outright bans? Because it can’t be both.
Anyone who’s spent any time tracking the relentless efforts to chip away and overturn a federal right to abortion over decades is also well aware that an absolute ban isn’t the only way to close off access. Even prior to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, hospital admitting requirements, mandatory mental health checks and waiting periods, parental consent laws, restrictions around clinic hallway widths and other infrastructure and other unnecessarily onerous regulations targeted abortion providers.
Plenty of states used these and other reams of restrictions to de facto ban abortion even before they could ban it de jure, leaving as little as a single overwhelmed and heavily-regulated clinic in an entire state. Even if Pilip is being truthful in saying she would not support a national abortion ban, she could vote for plenty of federal restrictions that could choke of access to such care right here in New York.
If Republicans in general seem cagey about their positions on abortion, it’s because, having succeeded in their unpopular long-term political project, they’re realizing that there are heavy electoral consequences to pay for it. If they’re now backing away from laying out their continued anti-abortion aspirations, it’s not because they have abandoned these long-held objectives, but because they understand that political survival depends in part on being quieter about it.
You shouldn’t buy it any more than anyone should have bought that repeated Supreme Court nominees’ talk of respecting the Roe precedent was genuine and controlling. Once she’s actually in Congress and her caucus starts whipping votes for some harebrained national scheme to talk away Americans’ access to abortion care, which of Pilip’s priorities will win out?
Her campaign pledge not to support a federal ban — and surely, no one’s ever broken a campaign promise before — or her personal, deeply held pro-life views? Do you really want to find out? The only way to be sure is to avoid this conundrum altogether. Fortunately, you can do that simply by voting for Suozzi instead.