Abortion rights are a key issue – NECN

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With just over four weeks to go until Election Day, interest is growing in the race to replace the nation’s longest-serving current US senator.

Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat, is retiring and the issue of reproductive freedom has emerged as an issue dividing major party candidates who want to succeed him.

On Friday, a former presidential candidate was in Vermont to support the Democratic candidate in the elections.

“We need to elect Peter Welch to the United States Senate,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, said Friday before a roundtable on reproductive freedom initiatives in Vermont.

Klobuchar, a guest of Vermont Democrats for a series of events, is supporting current U.S. House Representative Peter Welch in his run for the Senate. Klobuchar emphasized what she called her strong support for reproductive freedoms.

“We want the codification of Roe v. Wade to be part of our legacy of progress,” Klobuchar said of Senate Democrats.

In a Friday interview with NECN & NBC10 Boston, Welch said he wanted to be involved in delivering a bill to the president that would reinstate Roe v. Wade nationwide — after the Supreme Court overturned it and left it up to states to decide whether abortion would be legal.

“It’s a major issue in the country,” Welch said of access to abortions. “It’s absolutely outrageous that a woman can’t make her own decision about her reproductive choices. It shouldn’t be up to a man, it shouldn’t be up to legislatures, it should be up to a woman of make its own decision and we need to restore that reproductive freedom.”

Gerald Malloy, an Army veteran, business consultant, and experienced emergency management chief, is Welch’s Republican opponent.

He said in an interview with NECN & NBC10 Boston, Vermont affiliate, NBC5 News on Friday that he does not support efforts to enshrine reproductive freedom in the Vermont Constitution. He said he thinks the US Supreme Court was absolutely right to send abortion decisions back to the United States.

“I’m pro-life,” Malloy said. “I want to be a United States Senator to serve all the people of Vermont and represent all the people of Vermont. And serve under the Constitution. So my view now is that it’s a matter of the state – I think it will remain a matter of state.”

Vermont independents Mark Coester, Stephen Duke, Dawn Ellis, Cris Ericson and Kerry Raheb are also running for the US Senate. Green Mountain Party candidate Natasha Diamondstone-Kohout will also be on the ballot.

Information about registering to vote in Vermont is available at this Office of the Secretary of State website: https://sos.vermont.gov/elections/voters/registration/

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