As Democrats across the country run on protecting abortion rights in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade’s reversal, Alabama Democrats have been much less clear on the issue.
Yolanda Flowers, the Democrat nominee for governor, caused a stir in July when she tweeted a message that led many to believe she is anti-abortion. Afterward, Flowers stressed that she believes abortion should remain a legal option for women, and the pro-life organization Democrats for Life pulled its endorsement of Flowers.
But Flowers isn’t the only Democrat on the ballot with a shaky position on the issue: U.S. Senate nominee Will Boyd has given a variety of answers on the issue over the years.
Abortion access is notably absent from Boyd’s campaign website, as is gun control, both issues where Boyd has taken a softer stance than the party line. In contrast, “safeguarding the sanctity of life” appears near the top of Republican nominee Katie Britt’s platform page.
When the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, Boyd condemned the decision in a written statement.
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade is a setback for our nation,” Boyd said. “No elected or appointed official should be empowered to police a woman’s most private and sensitive decisions.”
But in an interview with Scott Buttram of the Trussville Tribune in August, Boyd appeared to support the reversal.
Asked by Buttram whether the recent court was correct to turn the regulation of abortion back over to the states, Boyd responded, “Well, I’ve always thought that, you know, states should have rights – states’ rights, right. So, states should be able to decide … So, again, if I’m just following the Constitution, right, that’s the direction you go.”
In that same interview, Boyd said he believes in the “sanctity of life.”
“You know, I’m a bishop. I’m a pastor,” Boyd said. “That all being said, I still struggle and don’t believe that the government should make healthcare decisions for a woman.”
Boyd’s belief in the “sanctity of life” is in line with comments he’s made in the past on the issue, including during a campaign for Senate in Illinois.
In August 2017, Boyd tweeted in response to a Fox News article claiming he didn’t support gun control or abortion, writing: “I value all life, ‘from conception to the grave.’ However, I do not believe the government should make healthcare decisions for women.”
In the same month, Boyd told AL.com that he wasn’t “someone who wanted to kill babies.”
“As a man of the cloth, I’ll be there from the cradle to the grave,” Boyd said. “But before we talk about abortions, we should be talking about adoptions. I believe we should be more than pro-birth.”
On his website for a 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate in Illinois, Boyd refers to himself as pro-life on the issue of abortion.
“Believe all life is precious and begins at conception (Pro-life),” his platform states.
APR’s efforts to reach Boyd for comment on this article were unsuccessful.
As Democrats try to flip the Senate, every candidate’s stance on abortion is important as legislation could be attempted to codify Roe v. Wade and reestablish abortion access at the federal level. Boyd’s comments leave it unclear for now just which way he would vote if he were given a seat at the table.
The mid-term elections will be decided in Alabama on Nov. 8.