Planned Parenthood President: John Kerry Should Promote Abortion, Birth Control

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

Planned Parenthood President: John Kerry Should Promote Abortion, Birth Control

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 6, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt says Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry should do more to promote abortion in his campaign. In a recent interview with Newsweek magazine, she encouraged the candidate to spend more time touting his pro-abortion views and defending birth control.

"It is very important for the campaign to begin to articulate more of an agenda. I know they have; they just haven’t talked about it in a big public venue," Feldt told Newsweek. "I think they’re doing themselves a disservice, particularly with the women voters whom they need to bring out, if they don’t talk more about their agenda for women’s reproductive health."

Sensing that a majority of women are pro-life and that advocating abortion doesn’t play well in key Midwestern battleground states, Feldt also said that she is trying to get the Kerry campaign to focus more on birth control and contraception.

Those are issues she thinks will receive greater public support for Kerry.

"I want to broaden this issue a bit, however. It’s not just about abortion rights," Feldt explained.

"If there’s any one important message that I’ve been giving to the Kerry campaign and to John Kerry himself it is: this is much bigger than abortion rights," Feldt told Newsweek in an interview published Thursday. "The Bush administration is after family planning. They are after birth control."

Pro-life groups say Kerry’s pro-abortion views won’t resonate with voters.

"What we should remember is that the extreme pro-abortion position advocated by Kerry and these groups represents only about 13% of the public," Carol Tobias, director of the National Right to Life PAC, told

That refers to the percentage of people in a recent Wirthlin poll who told surveyors that they supported no limits on abortion.

Despite the campaign advice, Feldt says she has no doubt that Kerry, whom her organization endorsed in May, will do everything in his power to promote abortion as president.

"I think that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior and his voting record is 100 percent" in favor of abortion, she told reporter Brian Braiker.

Yet, Feldt said she wants to make sure that Kerry, if elected, transfers his pro-abortion views from theory to actual domestic policy.

"I think he’s got [the pro-abortion message] in his heart and in his gut," Feldt told Newsweek. "Getting him to specific policy initiatives will be the challenge."

This isn’t the first time the president of the nation’s largest abortion business has given advice to Kerry on how to handle the abortion issue.

Feldt admonished Kerry in May when he made comments that made it appear he was vacillating on appointing only pro-abortion judges to federal court positions.

Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt told the Associated Press that she would "like to hear him use language that is stronger.”

For pro-life advocates, the goal is clear: make sure Kerry doesn’t win.

"John Kerry is the most aggressive, outspoken pro-abortion presidential candidate this country has ever seen," Tobias told