John Kerry Attempts to Moderate Pro-Abortion Views in New Speech

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Attempts to Moderate Pro-Abortion Views in New Speech

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 19
, 2006

Malibu, CA ( — Failed 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry attempted to moderate his position in favor of unlimited abortions during a speech at Pepperdine University on Monday night. Kerry, who is a possible 2008 presidential contender, lost to President Bush in 2004 in part because of his pro-abortion views.

During the speech, Kerry said both sides in the abortion debate are guilty of using "misleading and unconstructive" language and chastised both sides for the "overly partisan" tone of the abortion debate.

Kerry urged both sides to find "common ground" on the issue and said common ground items would include tax credits for adoptive parents, more government aid for working mothers, and health insurance for everyone.

"Even as a supporter of Roe v. Wade, I am compelled to acknowledge that the language both sides use on this subject can be, unfortunately, misleading and unconstructive," Kerry said, according to a Boston Globe report. "Instead of making enemies, we need to make progress."

Despite Kerry’s words, his position on abortion is clear and pro-life advocates should not support him in 2008, Gary Bauer, president of the conservative American Values group, said in response.

He told the Globe he doesn’t "want to discourage anyone from giving a speech in moving in my direction, but this is one of these issues where words aren’t enough."

Post-election polls, such as one conducted by the University of Akron, showed that the abortion issue helped President Bush make considerable gains in the 2004 elections among Catholics and Hispanics.

According to the survey, some 63 percent of Hispanic Protestants supported Bush in 2004 compared with just 32 percent in 2000. Meanwhile, Catholics gave Bush a 53 to 47 percent advantage over the Massachusetts senator, also an increase over Bush’s 2000 numbers.

Longtime Democrat voting blocs, both groups voted for the president in part because of social issues like abortion, the poll showed.

"[S]ocial issue priorities were most important to Bush’s religious constituencies," the researchers wrote. "A majority of the top four Bush constituencies regarded social issues as very important to their vote."

Meanwhile, a nationwide Harris Poll conducted just after the elections found some 25% of values voters cited abortion issues as their top values concern. Overall, voters who cited abortion issues broke 70-30 percent in favor of President Bush.