Pro-Life Groups: John Kerry-John Edwards Ticket Extreme on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups: John Kerry-John Edwards Ticket Extreme on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 6, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life groups are responding to the decision by likely Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to add North Carolina Senator John Edwards to his ticket. They say the selection highlights the pro-abortion position Kerry would take if he is elected in November.

"With John Edwards, Kerry has selected a running mate whose position is as extreme as his own, even opposing the ban on partial-birth abortions," Carol Tobias, political director for National Right to Life said in reaction.

Pro-life advocates pointed to the perfect rating Edwards has with abortion advocacy groups and they say adding Edwards ensures that judicial nominees will only be selected if they back abortion.

"Today John Kerry has selected a vice presidential candidate whose Senate record mirrors his own," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement. "Both John Kerry and John Edwards have a zero percent rating from FRC, and a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and both men have a history of opposing judicial nominees simply because of their deeply held religious beliefs."

Perkins said Kerry and Edwards have both opposed "countless judicial nominees who happen to be pro-life."

Despite his southern roots and populist image, Edwards has compiled a 0% pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Edwards has voted against the ban on partial birth abortions, for taxpayer funding of abortions.

In March 2003, he voted for an amendment that expressed the Senate’s support for the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed unlimited abortions and said the landmark ruling should not be overturned. Edwards also backed the pro-abortion decision in a similar 1999 vote.

"During his nearly six years in the U.S. Senate, John Edwards — like John Kerry — has consistently voted according to the dictates of hard-line pro-abortion advocacy groups, and contrary to the policies favored by most Americans," said Douglas Johnson, NRLC legislative director.

One pro-life leader says the choice of Edwards won’t help John Kerry in the key battleground state of Michigan.

"Sen. John Kerry’s selection of John Edwards as his running mate shows a radical, extreme position regarding the destruction of innocent human life," Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. "John Edwards does not represent the vast majority of Michigan citizens who have worked to establish a climate of life in our state."

Edwards voted six times in favor of the filibuster that blocked the confirmation of Miguel Estrada, who would have been the first Hispanic ever to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

He also voted in favor of the filibusters of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen and former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, two pro-life nominees President Bush selected for federal courts of appeals.