John Kerry: Democrats Must Welcome Those Who Oppose Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 31, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry: Democrats Must Welcome Those Who Oppose Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 31, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Former presidential candidate John Kerry strongly backed abortion during the presidential election and then surprised leading abortion advocates afterwards by suggesting his party be more open to pro-life Democrats. In a weekend interview, the Massachusetts senator continued that theme.

In a lengthy interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Kerry said Democrats should welcome more pro-life candidates into the party and embrace the language of "life" used by pro-life advocates.

"Many of us have talked about this for a long period of time," Kerry explained.

"You can’t be doctrinarian negative against somebody simply because they have that position," Kerry said of pro-life Democrats.

Kerry, who a Catholic who encountered strong opposition from pro-life Catholics at the polls, said Democrats need to do a better job of presenting their abortion views to engender support from "moral values" voters.

"The discussion is not about being pro-abortion. The discussion is about how you truly value life. Valuing life is also valuing choice. Valuing life is the exception for the life of a mother or rape or incest," he said.

Detractors say that, no matter how pro-abortion Democrats articulate their views, such politicians still support abortion and Roe v. Wade.

During the interview, Kerry reiterated his campaign promise not to support Supreme Court nominees who oppose the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. He also said he would oppose elevating Justice Antonin Scalia, who is pro-life, to the chief justice position.

Kerry told NBC he supports parental notification laws. He will have an opportunity during this session of Congress to vote on the Child Custody Protection Act, a bill that would uphold such laws.

Kerry also praised a recent speech by pro-abortion New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, in which she called for common ground on abortion and encouraged a second look at abstinence education. Kerry agreed and said adoption and abstinence "are worth talking about."

Both Kerry and Clinton are considered to be top presidential prospects for the party in 2008.