Before we start pooping on him, let's first stipulate that both I and Yr Editrix are very happy with the Kaine pick. His first speech as Hillary's running mate was shockingly good. Not only was he good, but the fact that we didn't know how good he was speaks well of him too; he's not an attention seeking show boater, it would seem.

Kaine also speaks Spanish and doesn't sound like a total Model UN nerd like Jon Huntsman did when he spoke what sounded like Chinese. As a Senator, Heritage Action For Corporate Fascism Now rates Kaine at 2% Good Freedom, which is 6 points lower than the average Senate Democrat. As an enemy of my enemy, he's looking like a friend.

But let's also say it plainly: Tim Kaine doesn't have the most progressive record on abortion. That doesn't mean, however, that Hillary Clinton can no longer claim to be a progressive after choosing him as her new best friend, as is argued here by Jodi Jacobsen, the person we all agreed shall be the final arbiter of calling yourself a progressive.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood are both happy with Tim Kaine's record in the Senate, so you can bet a lot of people are now convinced that both organizations are hopelessly corrupt false flag Black Bags who helped Hillary do 9/11.

Kaine has also said he stands by Roe v. Wade:

"I strongly support the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions and, for that reason, will oppose efforts to weaken or subvert the basic holding of Roe v. Wade. We all share the goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The right way to do this is through education and access to health care and contraception rather than criminalizing women's reproductive decisions."

But yes, he also has a bit of a "Democratic politician in Virginia" type of record on the issue. His support for Virginia's "informed consent" law frankly sucks. Here's the relevant language in the Virginia Code:

"At least 24 hours before the performance of an abortion, a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal transabdominal ultrasound imaging on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age."

In other words, this is a law designed to place an unnecessary emotional and temporal burden on women seeking to make a legal medical decision. It's bad, and Tim Kaine should apologize for it and unequivocally rescind his support for it.

Tim Kaine has also supported a ban on "partial birth" abortion, which is the tendentious and medically inaccurate term for an "intact dilation and extraction." He is not likely to rescind his support for this because many Americans think it is gross and lack the imagination or compassion to conceive of any reason why someone might have to wait longer than they wanted to in order to get an abortion. That he also supported an exception for the health of the mother isn't exculpatory in the same way that being opposed to executing innocent people wouldn't be something you'd want to brag about, probably.

Finally, to achieve the trifecta of "moderate" unnecessary burdens on free choice, Tim Kaine also supported parental consent, where minors need to give a parent, guardian or judge the opportunity to punish and shame them before terminating a pregnancy.

How much of this evinces Kaine's genuine beliefs, and how much did he go along with because Virginia Democrat? We'll never know, and it might not matter. If these are his genuine beliefs, then he's had a bit of an issue with imposing these on people. If they're not genuine, and he's more supportive of free choice than his record in Virginia suggests, then he chose to "go with the flow" in order to advance his political career.

But all that being said, don't expect a potential President Kaine to be any worse than reliably pro-choice. Since he's been in the Senate, he's been exactly this. He won't go and put a bust of George Tiller in the Oval Office, but that's not where America's at, either, remember. Meanwhile Hillary has made a point of calling for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment barring federal funds from going to abortion, which is pretty fucking bold and should be the starting point for any discussion of how a Clinton/Kaine administration will handle choice issues.

But he should still apologize for informed consent in Virginia. That shit is bullshit.

[ The Daily Beast / Heritage Action Scorecard / Rewire / The Hill / / VA Code / Wikipedia / Slate ]


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