October 29, 2008

State House District 120 candidate Peter Doyle. (photo/courtesy Doyle)
State House District 120 candidate Peter Doyle. (photo/courtesy Doyle)

Make no mistake: I’m pro-life

I just read your coverage of my House race (District 120), which was pretty much on the money so far as my stances on the issues goes.

With regard to the abortion issue, your statement of my position was as follows:

Do you favor any further restrictions on abortion?
Doyle: No; wants to ensure women have knowledge of potential post-procedural psychological effects and give full consent, as current law stipulates they must.

I never intended to leave you (or the voters) with the perception that I am pro-choice; I am pro-life, and I hope for the day when every human life at every stage of development, including the unborn, is welcomed in life and protected in law. What I was attempting to do in our interview was articulate that with regard to the current state of abortion law,  Roe v. Wade (and subsequent decisions in this area) severely limits what states can do to restrict abortion. No state may outlaw abortion at any time during pregnancy for any reason; nor may any state enact a law that puts an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. Among the restrictions that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld are 24-hour waiting periods, informed consent laws, parental notification laws, and bans on partial birth abortion. I would support all of these if they came before a vote of the Maine House, especially informed consent laws because I believe that women are not being given the information about the procedure to make a fully informed decision.

Moreover, I believe that abortion not only destroys an innocent human life but does immense damage to a woman at a time when she is very vulnerable and in need of comfort and support. Further, I do not subscribe to the notion that anyone can ever be given a “right” to take the life of another innocent human being for any reason, and certainly not because that human being’s existence is inconvenient or will make life burdensome. There are other ways, short of assisting her to kill her child, that can help a woman deal with the challenges involved in a crisis pregnancy. I believe that a just and civilized society will always have at its core laws that protect its most innocent and vulnerable citizens. That is the kind of society I’d like to see our laws reflect some day.


Peter Doyle



September 7, 2008

Scolded by Skolnik
Sadly I’m not surprised at the poor quality of The Bollard‘s article about the outdoor smoking ordinance [“Bar patio smoking ban passes,” Sept. 5]. But it’s discouraging to recognize the special pains it took to contrast selected statements of mine that it quoted, with my vote backing the ordinance. 

I did say the ordinance wouldn’t be enforced, and wasn’t meant to be enforced. I also said I didn’t approve of that. An objective journalist would have explained to readers that those quotes were — expressly — critical of the ordinance. That fact is part of the story. But The Bollard curiously left it out, which makes the reporting less accurate than it should be.

I called the ordinance a flawed regulatory exercise and I said there’s no clear winner when weighing public health against the faulty enforcement issues to this. I said that where there’s no clear winner, protecting the community’s health is he more responsible approach. 

But The Bollard chose not to provide those details to its readers. In fact, The Bollard chose not to go into (or even mention) the public health arguments in favor of this ordinance at all.

This publication ought not to indulge in such editorializing. I remember whenThe Bollard started out. Its chief explained to me that he was aiming for a higher quality of journalism than Portlanders had been getting with other weekly local newspapers. What happened to that?

Dan Skolnik
Portland City Council, District 3

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