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Evelyn Murphy speaks on abortion rights

By Andrea Lamberti

In a well-received speech at MIT on Tuesday, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy focused on the importance of the abortion rights issue in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

Murphy, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of Massachusetts, pointed out differences between her stance on the issue of abortion and the positions of her opponents, former Attorney General Francis X. Bellotti and Boston University President John Silber.

Murphy called herself "the only real pro-choice candidate," claiming that both Bellotti and Silber base their abortion positions on current public opinion polls, and that, deep down, they do not support abortion rights.

She claimed her opponents are "trying to use a pro-choice label to cover up their anti-choice positions." According to Murphy, Silber "has announced that giving women the right to choose safe and legal abortions is the same as giving them the right to commit infanticide."

Silber has also "been found guilty of sex discrimination by the federal courts" and guilty of "hostility toward women by those women who had to work for him at" Boston University, she said.

Murphy accused Bellotti of shifting his position on the issue of abortion. She cited his support for legislation that denied "public funding for Medicaid recipients, . . . the zoning restriction that would have enabled any municipality to ban abortion clinics," and restrictions on "young women's access to abortion" as proof of his "anti-choice record."

Last year, Bellotti "said Roe v. Wade `goes too far for me'," she said. "This year he says Roe is his position." She then questioned what his stance would be in the future, if "Roe is gone."

Court system will affect

the future of abortions

Citing the impact of the court system on the future of abortions, Murphy promised that, as governor, the issue of the abortion rights would be of primary concern in making judicial appointments.

The governor of the state will "choose judges who will serve long after her term," she said. And for that reason, Murphy said she would not appoint a judge whose "position on fundamental constitutional issues" she did not know.

Murphy claimed her opponents do not hold the same position on judicial appointees. Bellotti "says he has no particular principles in mind" regarding appointees, and he would not seek their opinions beforehand on the "right of privacy or to choose," she said.

Silber "says he would have voted for Robert Bork to sit on the United States Supreme Court," she added. "I tell you that I would never nominate a judge with the record -- or the attitude -- of Bork."

Crowd filled with

Murphy supporters

The mere presence of Murphy and her National Organization for Women supporters energized the crowd in 6-120. Molly Yard, president of NOW, introduced Murphy, and lauded her as one of the "absolutely superb" female candidates for governor across the country this year. The Massachusetts primary election is Sept. 18.

Yard also stressed the importance of the abortion issue this year, stating that the "lives of women in this country are on the line" because they are "very close to losing the right" to have an abortion.

Rebecca D. Kaplan '92 of the Association for Women Students, which sponsored the event, dubbed the speech an "historic event."