John Kerry Sidesteps Abortion Comment, Says Unborn a "Form of Life"

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

John Kerry Sidesteps Abortion Comment, Says Unborn a "Form of Life"

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 2, 2004

Newburgh, NY ( — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is further distancing himself from comments he made last month that human life begins at conception.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Kerry reiterated his support for the so-called right to abortion, but seemingly changed his position on the beginning of life.

Asked whether he thought abortion constituted the taking of human life, Kerry said that an unborn child is a "form of life.”

"The Bible itself – I mean, everything talks about different layers of development," Kerry said. "That’s what Roe v Wade does. It talks about viability. It’s the law of the land.”

Kerry’s comments drew guffaws from pro-life advocates.

"John Kerry’s statement that a fetus is potential life is scientific nonsense," Nikolas Nikas, an attorney with Americans United for Life, told "A fetus is a human being at the fetal stage of life. It is not potential life, but human life with potential. Check any medical textbook."

Nikas also took issue with Kerry’s view of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion.

"[H]is view that, since abortion on demand is mandated by the Supreme Court, it cannot be challenged flies in the face of American history," Nikas explained. "The Supreme Court once held that slaves were property. Should we accept that African Americans are property because the Court once held that?"

In his Friday interview, Kerry, once again, said he could not put his Catholic views on abortion into policy.

"I don’t believe personally that it’s the government’s job to step in and take my article of faith and transfer it to somebody who doesn’t share that article of faith,” said Kerry.

While campaigning in a heavily Catholic part of Iowa in early July, Kerry told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, "I oppose abortion, personally. I don’t like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception."

Kerry also backed away from those comments in an interview with ABC news anchor Peter Jennings late last month.

Kerry said he thought the "fertilization process" is when a human being "is first formed and created."
However, Kerry added, "[w]ithin weeks, you look and see the development of it, but that’s not a person yet, and it’s certainly not what somebody, in my judgment, ought to have the government of the United States intervening in."

The contradictory statements, designed to keep his pro-abortion supporters and mollify voters who back him on other issues but have qualms with his abortion position, reveal Kerry’s nature as a flip-flopper, pro-life advocates say.

"Senator Kerry now claims that he believes that ‘a human being is first formed and created’ at fertilization, but for 20 years he has consistently voted against any legal protection for those human beings," says Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.

"When it comes to abortion, John Kerry’s views are on the wrong side of science, the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of morality," Nikas concluded.