Republican U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (Kentucky) announced on
Monday he would not seek re-election to his Kentucky seat next year, according to Reuters and other outlets. Reuters reports that:
Some of Bunning’s fellow Republicans had been encouraging him to
retire to avoid a tough race and possible defeat. Some party
strategists believed a different candidate would have a better chance
Bunning, citing funding constraints, faulted his own party for his situation.
"Over the past year, some of the leaders of the Republican Party in
the Senate have done everything in their power to dry up my
fund-raising," Bunning, 72, said in a statement. "The simple fact is
that I have not raised the funds necessary to run an effective campaign
for the U.S. Senate."
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Bunning is a "no-choice" Senator. He is a dependable vote for any and all restrictions on access to abortion services, but also has consistently voted against expanded access to contraceptive information and supplies as well as to comprehensive sex ed and every and any other program that would reduce unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, or other adverse outcomes of unprotected sex.
According to On the Issues, for example, Bunning voted "No" to adopt an amendment to the Senate’s 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that
would have allocated $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies.
A "Yes" vote would have expanded access to preventive health care services that
reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the
number of abortions, and improve access to women’s health care by:
- Increasing funding and access to family planning services
- Funding legislation that required equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans
legislation that would have created and expanded teen pregnancy prevention
programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives.
Who will replace Bunning and whether they will be as bad or better on issues of choice remains to be seen. But the possibility exists there will be one less "no-choice" Senator come next year.