Costa: Bulletin is pro-choice


Published Nov 4, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

The Bulletin is a pro-choice newspaper, and sure to remain so.

That's the simple truth, which is being challenged by a few readers because of our endorsement of Mitt Romney.

“With this endorsement, the board's decision reverses a once long-held position of support for women's rights, including the right to abortion,” one letter writer wrote.

Another reader wrote, “We are the parents of three grown daughters, one of whom is adopted. Therefore, our entire family has a strong belief in the sanctity of life. However, according to your candidate and the platform of your party, which by the way we find interesting that you chose not to address in your endorsement; they should not be trusted nor are they capable of making health care choices themselves.”

These are sincerely held views, but I don't think they stand on solid ground.

The first writer makes an assumption, or rather a projection that has become an American habit, and just as likely the reason our political differences have an all-or-nothing quality about them.

We mentioned nothing about abortion in our editorial, as the second writer observed, and yet there is a presumption that having endorsed Romney, we accept everything he and the GOP platform have uttered — lock, stock and barrel.

I have met very few editorial writers over five decades of journalism who agree 100 percent with all candidates they endorse.

It's just not the way the system works for editorial writers or, I suspect for many voters.

It's hard to imagine that there aren't some among the fine folks who voted for President Obama in 2008 who object to his relatively muscular anti-terrorism policies of drone strikes, defending in court aspects of the Patriot Act and leaving in operation the Guantanamo terrorist detention center.

It's equally hard to imagine that all of President Clinton's supporters were thrilled with the Defense of Marriage Act or the Don't Ask, Don't Tell approach to gays in the military.

Neither Obama nor Clinton can be called right wing, but if you looked at them through the singular prism of these issues, you could easily project a full political narrative that would completely distort their image.

That's the same with most newspapers that publish endorsements.

They tend to focus on the key issue or two in any race and endorse the person they think can do the most good.

We endorsed Romney because we believe, as polls show most Americans do, that the economy, jobs, the debt and entitlement reform are not just the key issues. They are the overwhelming issues.

And, without repeating the endorsement, we think he'll do a better job at those.

Do we agree with him on everything? No.

No more than we agree on every issue with the Democrats we endorsed this year — Ted Wheeler for state treasurer and Ellen Rosenblum for attorney general of Oregon. But all things considered, we think they'll do the best job on the most important issues.

Despite not mentioning it, we did think about abortion, but we think there is little chance that the fundamental law will change.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in American politics, especially on a volatile and divisive issue.

But since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, we have had 23 years of Republicans in the White House and 16 years of Democrats.

We have had multiple changes of control of the Congress — both House and Senate — and, by my count, 14 appointments to the Supreme Court, all but four by Republican presidents.

And while there have been fights over aspects of the issue — such as viability, parental consent and funding — the basic right remains.

As an editor, but also as a husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, I'm happy that is true.