Abortion protesters

The Wisconsin Right to Life political operation could not decide which Republican candidate for governor it preferred, so the group endorsed both Scott Walker and Mark Neumann.

Fair enough. Walker and Neumann have similar anti-choice positions.

But the same cannot be said of the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

While both GOP candidates are political newcomers, they clearly differ on the issue. Dave Westlake has taken the purist position of opposing abortion in all instances — no exceptions. Ron Johnson, on the other hand, said in a recent interview with Green Bay's  WTAQ radio that he would not bar abortions in all circumstances.

When conservative talk-radio host Jerry Bader asked Johnson if he was a "straight pro-life" candidate, Johnson replied: "No."

Johnson then endorsed what he referred to as "the normal three exceptions," which he described as "true life of the mother ... and instances of rape and incest."

Now, to our view, Johnson's position is the sounder one. We favor abortion rights. But Wisconsin Right to Life is obviously on the other side of this debate.

So, in a contest between two serious candidates with equal experience, reasonable people might assume that Wisconsin Right to Life would endorse Dave Westlake.

But reasonable people would be wrong. The group backed Johnson.

Why?

That's easy: Johnson is the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Once upon a time, Wisconsin Right to Life was remarkably consistent when it came to the abortion debate.

Now it appears the group is consistent about something else: staying in line with the GOP leadership, even if that means rejecting the candidate who takes the stronger stance on what is supposed to be Wisconsin Right to Life's top issue.

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