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Why Jeff Yarbro is Likely to Get My Vote – A Tennessee Democrat on Reproductive Freedom

July 10, 2010

Yesterday, I received a mailer from Tennessee State Senate candidate Jeff Yarbro, who is running against incumbent Sen. Doug Henry in the Democratic primary in District 21 – my district. The campaign piece is notable for a Democrat in a state where the TN Democratic Party praises a candidate for his “pro-life” stance in party communications.

One side of Yarbro’s mailer clearly states:

“Jeff trusts women to make decisions about choice – not government.” (presented as a quote from his wife)

Hey, that sounds a lot like what I’ve argued here. And here. And here.

On the back side, the mailer includes language that “…Yarbro supports a woman’s right to choose” and that the candidate opposes SJR127 “or any other attempt to limit women’s reproductive rights.” It concludes:

“Jeff understands that this is a divisive issue and respects those who disagree with him, but he believes that there are better ways to reduce the number of abortions than putting obstacles between women and their doctors.”

Damn. Isn’t that a breath of fresh air?

You can see an image of the back side of the mailer here.

Aunt B has written a lot recently about the problems of the current Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP). Specifically, see her post, Democratic Women of Tennessee, It’s Time to Have a Little Talk, in which she asks incredulously: “But when the Democratic party itself starts talking positively about anti-abortion candidates specifically because of their anti-abortion records, as if that’s a selling point?” Just go read her post, I’m serious. It’s a pretty clear summary of the problem I have with the Democrats-in-charge in this state.

More specific to this district race, I’ve written about my problems with Henry’s stance on abortion before. Such as when he failed to address concerns about a “death certificates for abortion” bill, and instead responded generically that, “There are certainly strong arguments in favor of the unwilling prospective mother, but I decided long ago that I would come down in favor of the child.”

Or when Sen. Henry displayed his total tone-deafness about both women AND rape, and remarked that:

“Rape, ladies and gentlemen, is not today what rape was. Rape, when I was learning these things, was the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by some party not her spouse. Today it’s simply, ‘Let’s don’t go forward with this act.’ ”

At least one Nashville Democrat claimed that Yarbro’s stance wouldn’t go over among this district’s “decidedly an anti-choice lot”, but he didn’t ask me – I live in the district, and I’m all for it. I don’t know everything about Yarbro just yet – the mailer prompted me to start to find out more – and there are some things in the issues section of his site that I think could be problematic. Of course my opinion could change as I learn more, but at the moment I’m strongly leaning Yarbro, based simply and largely on his explicitly pro-choice position on this issue.

As a side note, I’m seriously considering writing in “next available actual Democrat” in the Democratic primary for the Gubernatorial election.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherry Jolly permalink
    July 14, 2010 2:30 pm

    I, too, was extremely pleased to see a mailer from Jeff Yarbro indicating his support for a woman’s right to make her own decisions about reproductive health. I received another mailer today indicating his support for Health Care Reform. I don’t know much about Mr. Yarbro, but I will be voting for him over Douglas Henry for sure!


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