Bill Frist's recent flip-flop on stem cell research sent Slate
's William Saletan to some Tennessee newspaper archives to see if the good doctor-senator has been equally inconsistent
on abortion. You make the call:
It's tempting to dismiss Frist's views on embryos as an aberration from his views on abortion. But if you dig through the public record from his 1994 Senate campaign, you'll find more surprises. In March 1994, Frist told the Nashville Banner that he opposed a constitutional ban on abortions. At the same time, pro-life activists said he was telling them he opposed abortion except in cases of rape or incest. The Banner reported that in public forums, Frist called abortion "a very private decision" and "frequently adds he does not believe abortions should be outlawed." In July, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Frist said, "I believe that abortion is an option that a woman should have."
As political opportunists go, Frist is looking more and more like a gifted and accomplished professional.