Saturday, June 16, 2018
News Roundup

A politician dares to say it: 'I got an abortion'

Midterm elections are heating up, and the race for lieutenant governor in Nevada is shaping up to be one of the more interesting statewide battles of the year. The Democratic nominee, a state representative, bucks a stunning array of expectations that people have for politicians: Lucy Flores grew up poor, dropped out of high school, has done time in prison, and has a regrettable ankle tattoo. Oh yeah, and she's open about having had an abortion.

Benjy Sarlin of MSNBC profiled Flores over the weekend and concludes that none of this is holding her back from becoming a rising star in the Democratic party. On the contrary, Flores campaigns heavily on her biography — after a rough start, she got a GED and eventually a college scholarship that led to a career in law and now politics — and she connects it all to the policies she fights for. Example: She talks about her own horror story of having to flee an abusive boyfriend when pushing for a state law allowing domestic violence victims to break their leases.

An even more remarkable example: Flores admitted that she had an abortion at 16 during a debate over a bill to improve sex education in schools. After pointing out all six of her sisters (Flores is one of 13 children) got pregnant as teens, Flores went on to talk to Sarlin about her own life: "I always said that I was the only one who didn't have kids in their teenage years. That's because at 16, I got an abortion."

Her eyes welled up as she described how she'd convinced her father to pay the $200 for the procedure. She didn't want to end up like her sisters, Flores told him.

"I don't regret it," she said. "I don't regret it because I am here making a difference, at least in my mind, for many other young ladies and letting them know that there are options and they can do things to not be in the situation I was in, but to prevent."

Admitting that you personally have had an abortion is almost unheard of in politics. Democratic U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier talked about her abortion in 2011, but that termination was done out of medical necessity, which is traditionally deemed to be a more sympathetic reason to abort. Flores admitted to the most controversial kind of abortion, the kind done simply because a woman does not want to have a baby at that time. Unsurprisingly, Flores was bombarded with abuse and shaming from anti-antibortionists.

But many Republicans think that going after Flores for her past is a bad idea. "I don't think it would be wise for anyone to get into the mud about (Flores's) former life," GOP strategist Robert Uithoven told Sarlin. Polling data supports this idea, showing that 59 percent of people like Flores more after hearing her life story and only 17 percent like her less.

Turns out that it's one thing to describe a generic woman as "selfish" if she has an abortion, but putting an abortion in the context of a woman's life story makes her much harder to attack — and her choice much easier to understand. — Slate.com

Comments

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., June 17, midday:xx xxx xxxxe_SRitxxxxxSun., June 17, evening:xx xxx xxxxe_SRitxxxxxFantasy 5Sunday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
They fled Puerto Rico with their possessions, which they lost last week in an apartment fire

They fled Puerto Rico with their possessions, which they lost last week in an apartment fire

RIVERVIEW — It was the most routine of errands, shopping for a cooler and some shorts.Joel Jaca and Arelys Gomez, both 40, had turned an important corner, miles away from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.They had finally gotten out of their relief hotel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

The Rays are still talking, as they should, about playing for something this season. The reality is that almost every move they've made, going back to the end of last season, and in some cases further, has been about 2019 and beyond.Clearing out vete...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

NEW YORK — Kevin Cash was not going to go all Lou Piniella on his Rays, raging and ripping and roaring over their latest mess, a 4-1 Saturday loss to the Yankees that didn't feel that close.Which is too bad because Piniella, the volcanic former...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Mazzaro’s Italian Market closed after Friday night warehouse fire

Mazzaro’s Italian Market closed after Friday night warehouse fire

ST. PETERSBURG — Mazzaro’s Italian Market will be closed throughout the weekend after a warehouse fire broke out Friday.A St. Petersburg Police officer noticed smoke coming from the market at 22nd Ave. N around midnight Friday, said St. Petersburg F...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Catholic diocese celebrates 50 years in Tampa Bay and forges plan for the future

Catholic diocese celebrates 50 years in Tampa Bay and forges plan for the future

ST. PETERSBURG — At his installation as spiritual leader of Tampa Bay’s Catholics, Bishop Gregory Parkes promised to take time to get to know his people, listen to what they had to say and work to discern a plan for the future.On Sunday, 17 months la...
Updated: 4 hours ago
A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?

A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?

TAMPA — Loueita Hargens had known for years how her son Bradley Dykes would die. She had seen him cycle through drugs of choice, had lost track of the number of times he’d wound up in the hospital or prison.A recovering alcoholic herself, she cut him...
Updated: 5 hours ago
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A woman went to check her corn - and was swallowed by a python

A woman went to check her corn - and was swallowed by a python

For the second time in barely more than a year, an Indonesian villager has been swallowed whole by a python.Wa Tiba, 54, left her home on Muna island to visit her cornfield on Thursday night, according to the Jakarta Post.The field was about a half m...
Updated: 6 hours ago