John Edwards Announces Second Presidential Bid, Still Backs Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 2, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Edwards Announces Second Presidential Bid, Still Backs Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 2
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards last week announced a second attempt at securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. While Edwards may try to present a new image of himself during the 2008 presidential campaign, he has not altered his strongly pro-abortion stance.

"I’m here to announce I’m a candidate for president of the United States," Edwards told NBC’s "Today Show."

"I’ve reached my own conclusion this is the best way to serve my country," he said.

During the interview, Edwards tried to counter the image of his past work as a trial lawyer by saying he fought for "kids and families against very powerful opponents" and tried to "give them a fair shake, to give them a fair chance."

Yet, that stance doesn’t extend to unborn children killed and women injured by abortions.

Edwards has compiled a record in favor of abortion that pro-life groups call extreme.

During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Edwards voted against pro-life legislation at every turn — even opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions. He accumulated a 0% pro-life record while in the Senate, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

Edwards voted for taxpayer funding of abortions in various situations and, in March 2003, voted for an amendment that expressed the Senate’s support for the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed unlimited abortions and said the landmark ruling should not be overturned.

The former North Carolina senator also backed the pro-abortion judicial decision in a similar 1999 vote.

NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson previously talked about Edwards’ record with

"During his nearly six years in the U.S. Senate, John Edwards — like John Kerry — has consistently voted according to the dictates of hard-line pro-abortion advocacy groups, and contrary to the policies favored by most Americans," Johnson said.

Outlining his pro-abortion position, Edwards said during a speech at a NARAL dinner in January 2003 that "The right to choose is an essential ingredient to realize the full equality of America."

In May 2003, Edwards addressed EMILY’s List donors, attempting to strengthen their resolve to put a pro-abortion candidate in the White House in 2004, though pro-life President George W. Bush ultimately defeated pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Edwards favors appointing only abortion advocates to key federal court positions, and opposed President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees. He highlighted that in the Emily’s List address.

"These judges, some of these judges, that come out of the White House, they will take your rights away. It is no more complicated than that," Edwards told the pro-abortion group.

Edwards has tried before to have it both ways on the abortion issue — making his unbridled support for abortion appear more moderate.

"I believe that the difficult question of abortion should be left for a woman to decide in consultation with her family, her physician, and her faith," Edwards said during Congressional debate on the partial-birth abortion ban.

"However, once the fetus has reached viability, I believe we have a responsibility, and a constitutional ability, to protect the unborn child," he added.

After a handful of pro-life Democrats emerged victorious in the 2006 Congressional elections and with attempts by other potential Democratic presidential candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, to moderate their pro-abortion records, Edwards will likely continue his attempts to do the same.