by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2005
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — Taking sides in the Republican primary in the race for governor, a statewide pro-life group in New Jersey backed former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler on Monday. New Jersey Right to Life says the GOP candidate has the best chance of becoming the state’s next governor.
Marie Tasy, director of the group’s political action committee, told Newhouse News Service that Schundler’s "electability" was a key issue as the group decided which candidate to back.
Although there are seven Republican candidates and others who take a pro-life position on the issue of abortion, Tasy’s group felt Schundler would give the pro-life community the best hope of winning in November’s election.
"We want to make sure we support someone who supports our position, and has a chance of winning," Tasy told the news service.
Despite Schundler’s credentials, no pro-life candidate has won statewide since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.
Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, Bergen Freeholder Todd Caliguire, Morris Freeholder John Murphy and Bergen businessman Robert Schroeder also oppose abortions.
Lonegan, who has received support from the Republican National Coalition for Life opposes all abortions. The others, like Schundler, oppose abortion with the exception of saving the mother’s life. Bill Pascoe, Schundler’s campaign manager, said the candidate also favors parental notification laws and a ban on partial-birth abortions.
Lonegan said that, as governor, he would appoint pro-life judges and work to cut taxpayer funding of abortion.
"I believe life begins at conception," Lonegan told the Star-Ledger newspaper. "I don’t have an exception."
Schundler formerly favored legal abortion, but had a change of heart. Since then he has been outspoken about his pro-life views.
"You might as well just be honest about your personal belief and focus on the things you can do," Schundler said. "I’m proud of the values I have."
Two of the Republican candidates for New Jersey governor, Mercer businessman Doug Forrester and Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, are not considered pro-life. Forrester has previously said he favors legal abortions in the first trimester.
Schundler also opposed plans by acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey to spend $500 million on embryonic stem cell research.
"How can [Codey] be doing this when senior citizens all over the state are losing their homes to skyrocketing property taxes," he asked in January when Codey first announced the idea.
Sen. Jon Corzine, the likely Democratic nominee, has a 100 percent pro-abortion voting record and has strongly favored unproven embryonic stem cell research.
Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life – https://www.njrtl.org