RICHMOND (AP) -- Democrat Tim Kaine and RepublicanGeorge Allen drew sharper contrasts between themselves on the issues of entitlements seniors have paid for years, with Allen backing higher retirement age and Kaine promising to protect Social Security 'to my last breath.'

They also clashed over differences on access to abortion in the first televised prime time debate of the U.S. Senate race. Allen defended laws to punish people who kill fetuses in criminal attacks on women, and Kaine accused Allen of supporting measures that could restrict access to contraceptives.

Pressed to say whether he supported the cuts prescribed in the federal budget proposed by Republican vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan, Allen danced around the question, taking aim instead on the 'Obamacare' health care reforms.

It was the fourth of their five debates.

AP-WF-10-09-12 0057GMT

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