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Abortion becomes big issue in Senate race between Patty Murray and Tiffany Smiley

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Megan Farmer / Gil Aegerter / KUOW

Election Day is less than a month away and one of the big issues driving voters to the polls, that has emerged within the past year, is the abortion debate.

It's a top issue in Washington's U.S. Senate race. Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley has been running an ad that tries to stake out a middle ground, following a series of other ads from incumbent Patty Murray that puts abortion center stage.

"I'm pro-life, but I oppose a federal abortion ban," Smiley says in her new ad.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is accusing Smiley of flip-flopping on the issue. She points to a tweet that Smiley liked in 2017. The tweet came from Washington Congressmember Cathy McMorris Rodgers and advocated for a federal abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

"You have to stand up and fight for the rights of women when you're negotiating with conservative Republicans," Murray told KUOW. "We need a voice in the Senate from Washington state that will do that every day."

Murray also says she would block any federal abortion ban from going to a vote on the Senate floor.

Smiley was not available to comment for this story.

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