Let's stop talking about the abortion issue in the abstract. Let's just do it this way:
Several abortion bills have come before U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in the past 18 years. To discern the differences between Murray and her challenger Dino Rossi on the issue, we looked at how Murray voted on those bills and asked Rossi how he—even though he says "I'm not running on that issue"—would have voted on that issue.
Here are six pro-choice vs. pro-life votes, plus action on Plan B, the morning-after-pill:
1. In 2000, Murray opposed an amendment banning military base abortions. Rossi tells us he would have supported it.
2. In 2009, Murray opposed an amendment restricting any UN funding from supporting abortions. Rossi tells us he would have supported it.
3. In 2009, Murray opposed the Sen. Ben Nelson amendment which prohibited abortion funding in the health care bill—meaning federal funds could not cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, even if the client uses their own money to pay for this coverage. Rossi tells us he would have supported it.
4. In 2005, Murray supported an amendment to the budget that would have put $100 million to reduce teen pregnancy through education and services. Ross tells us he would have opposed it.
5. In 2007, Sen. Murray opposed a Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) amendment to the foreign appropriations budget that would have prevented funding for any NGOs in developing nations that provided family planning and reproductive health services with their own private funds. Rossi tells us he would have supported it.
6. In 2006, Sen. Murray opposed the "Child Custody Protection Act" which would have made it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion if it circumvents a state law requiring parental involvement. Rossi tells us he would have supported it.
7. Finally, while it's not legislation, in 2006 Sen. Murray (teaming up with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton) pushed—and succeeded—to get Plan B available over the counter. Rossi tells us he would have opposed this.