Interview in 1972 Shows John Kerry Flip-Flopped on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Interview in 1972 Shows John Kerry Flip-Flopped on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 23, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Like so many Democratic politicians with presidential ambitions, it appears presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry flip-flopped on abortion.

In an October 1972 interview with the Lowell Sun, a Massachusetts newspaper, Kerry said that he was opposed to abortion:

"It’s a tragic day in the lives of everybody when abortion is looked on as an alternative to birth control or as an alternative to having a child. I think that’s wrong. It should be the very last thing if it has to be anything, and I say that not just because I’m opposed to abortion but because I think that’s common sense."

Kerry added: "I think the question of abortion is one that should be left for the states to decide."

Meanwhile, in 1975, Sun reporter John Mullins reported that Kerry believed there were more important issues than abortion including "how to put people back to work, how to reduce crime and how to keep institutions from breaking down."

"I think liberals spend too much time pushing issues which just aren’t relevant to the mass of people," Kerry said citing abortion.

But in June 2003, Robert Gibbs, a Kerry spokesman, told the New York Times that Kerry has always backed legal abortion and pointed out that the comments came prior to the Roe v. Wade decision.

"From the beginning John Kerry has consistently said and believed that privacy is foremost and that abortion should be a decision between a women and her doctor," Mr. Gibbs told the Times.

Nikolas Nikas, a pro-life attorney, says the flip-flop adds to the reasons why Kerry shouldn’t be elected president.

"Abortion is the greatest moral evil of our time," Nikas told "It destroys an unborn child and harms that child’s mother. Any politician who once accurately understood abortion for the flagrant violation of human rights that it is, and then ‘flip-flopped’ on the issue for political advantage is unworthy of any elected office."

Kerry’s 1972 comments came during a failed Congressional bid.