Question from Ann Kirkpatrick: Women's health issues have been at the forefront this year and are important and personal issues. In both 2010 and 2012, you answered on a Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire that you support banning abortion except when the mother's life is at risk. But during both of those election cycles, you gave news outlets a different answer. Will you clarify which of these is your current position on a woman's right to choose?


Paton responds:

  My stance on women's issues has always been consistent.

I am pro-life but believe in exceptions in cases of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is threatened.

Protecting women and children have been a priority of mine ever since I was elected to the Legislature.

We must do a better job protecting those who have little chance of defending themselves.

That is why I tackled reform of Child Protective Services. When I saw three local children die at the hands of their parents, even after CPS knowledge of abuse, I could not stand idly by.

I held hearings and delved into secret files to learn the truth about CPS' failings. I found very disturbing information.

It was frustrating I could neither share my findings nor shake up a comatose agency.

However, I did the next best thing. I sponsored and passed bills to reform CPS. I made sure that the agency involved police officers when the need arises. I made more records open to the public when serious injury or death occurred.

CPS still has challenges to overcome. However, I am proud of the work I have done to reform an agency that all too often wanted to cover up its mistakes rather than fix them.

Jonathan Paton is the Republican candidate for District 1, which includes Marana, Oro Valley and SaddleBrooke.