Borling says he is "pro-choice"

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

By The Leader-Chicago Bureau (chicago@illinoisleader.com)

Retired U.S. Air Force General John Borling spent six and a half years in a VietNam POW camp.
CHAMPAIGN, IL (RFMNEWS.COM) -- On Sunday, a candidate who is expected to announce his bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate became the first to say he is pro-choice on the abortion issue.

"I am pro-choice. I happen to believe a woman should have sovereign control over her own body," said retired U.S. Air Force General John Borling of Rockford. "Abortion should be a last resort option, but it should be a decision left up to a woman."

Borling stated, however, that he is for ending at least one abortion technique -- partial-birth abortions.

Borling told the members of Champaign-based Illinois Forum that men should not have anything to say on the subject of abortion. He also said that as a U.S. Senator, he would not use a nominee's position on abortion as a litmus test when voting on the confirmation of federal judges.

Borling is expected to join the field of announced candidates who are seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Peter Fitzgerald.

Thus far, five other candidates have announced their candidacies to replace Fitzgerald -- Jack Ryan, Chirinjeev Kathuria, Andy McKenna, John Cox and Jim Oberweis.

Ryan and McKenna say they are against abortion, except in the case of rape and incest, when the choice should be left to the mother. Cox does not believe the rape and incest exception is acceptable. Kathuria's position on abortion is not clearly defined, and Oberweis said last week that he is pro-life, but it is unknown whether Oberweis allows exceptions in his abortion position.

On July 4th, Borling formed an exploratory committee concerning his possible run for the 2004 GOP Senatorial nomination.

Borling is a resident of Rockford. A retired Major General, Borling served in the Air Force for 37 years, 6 1/2 years of which he was a POW during the Viet Nam War.

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For a related story, see "Two more GOP candidates likely to be in U.S. Senate race" published on IllinoisLeader.com on Tuesday, July 01, 2003.

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What are your thoughts on this issue? How important will the abortion issue be in the U.S. Senate race? Write us with your thoughts at letters@illinoisleader.com, and include your name and town.