John Kerry’s Sister Admonished About Campaigning After Abortion Speech

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry’s Sister Admonished About Campaigning After Abortion Speech

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 2, 2004

Washington, DC ( — John Kerry’s sister went out of her way to tout his pro-abortion credentials to abortion advocates during the Democratic convention in Boston last week. However, Peggy Kerry, who is on the State Department payroll as a U.N. representative, is being admonished by the agency about campaigning for her brother.

Peggy Kerry told a pro-abortion rally last week that her brother would definitely appoint only abortion advocates to key federal court positions, including the Supreme Court.

But her position at the State Department is drawing concerns from pro-life groups.

"At one time, career civil servants, like Kerry, were forbidden to make campaign appearances, though that has no changed" the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a pro-life group that monitors the U.N. said last week. "What is not yet clear is whether Kerry violated any internal State Department guidelines."

On Monday, a State Department spokesman said no law was broken, but the agency will admonish Peggy Kerry on when she can and can’t campaign on behalf of her brother.

"In February, Ms. Kerry sought advice from the department on engaging in political activities and received guidance," State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli said told the Washington Post.

"As a career employee she may take an active part" in her brother’s campaign, he said. However, Peggy Kerry can’t campaign for him during work hours and she can’t ask for donations to his campaign at work.

Ereli told the Post that the agency "did not have advance notice of her remarks."

"We will probably remind her as we would any employee [that] if you’re going to speak on a matter related to your professional duties, you run it by your supervisor," Ereli explained.

Ereli told the Post that the agency would not tell Kerry what to say or not to say. However, Peggy Kerry should have offered a disclaimer before her remarks to indicate that she was not speaking on behalf of the State Department or the Bush administration.

Kerry joined the State Department in 1997 as a U.N. representative in a temporary capacity. She then competed for and won a permanent position in September 2001.

At the State Department, she drew criticism for setting up events for Catholics for a Free Choice, including a press conference where the pro-abortion group announced its effort to have the Vatican removed from the U.N., according to a Friday Fax report.

Last week, Kerry, who has worked for Planned Parenthood, said her brother would take a clear departure in international policy on abortion from President Bush. She said the Massachusetts senator would restore funding to the UNFPA.

President Bush has slashed the agency’s $34 million in taxpayer funding in each of the last three years because of its ties to China’s population control program that involves forced abortions and sterilizations.

According to Peggy Kerry, her brother would also make sure the United States radifies the CEDAW treaty. That’s an international treaty that has drawn criticisms from pro-life organizations and President Bush because it endorses abortion.