Fact Check: Democrat Foust Lying About Comstock Abortion Position

John Foust
John Foust / AP

Virginia Democrat John Foust is lying about his Republican opponent’s position on abortion, according to political fact-checkers.

Foust claimed in a recent ad that Virginia state representative Barbara Comstock "wants to make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest."

The only problem, notes: Comstock has never said any such thing, and in fact has made it clear that she does support the legality of abortion in those circumstances.

"I support a rape/incest/life of the mother exception on abortion," she said in a statement relayed to us by her campaign.

And that’s not the first time Comstock has taken that position. She was asked specifically about where she stood on "abortion in cases of rape or incest" while seeking the endorsement of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund in July. The fund normally doesn’t make its questionnaires public, but in this case the group sent a letter giving the full text of Comstock’s response. "I do support a life of the mother and rape and incest exception for abortion," the SBA quoted Comstock as stating.

The Foust website provides no support for the ad’s claim. When we pressed for an explanation, a Foust aide told us the claim was based on Comstock’s 2012 vote in favor of a bill that some referred to as a "personhood" measure in the Virginia House of Delegates, where she is a member.

That bill, however, would not have banned any abortions, and did not even mention rape or incest. It would have declared that under Virginia law, "The life of each human being begins at conception" and that unborn children would have "all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons" in the state. But neither side claimed at the time that the bill would ban abortions in Virginia.

Foust and Comstock are facing off for an open House seat in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. A recent poll showed the Republican leading by 12 points in the race. noted Foust’s dishonest position to illustrate a growing trend among Democrats vying for federal office: "falsifying or exaggerating the positions their Republican opponents have taken on abortion."

Published under: 2014 Election