Leading GOP Prez Candidates Disappoint Pro-Life Advocates on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Leading GOP Prez Candidates Disappoint Pro-Life Advocates on Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 23
, 2007

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The three leading Republican candidates for president are disappointing pro-life advocates when it comes to the issue of abortion. None of them have been reliably pro-life throughout their careers and all three are seen as guilty of pandering to pro-life advocates recently in efforts to win their support.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, is the least pro-life of the three given that he has supported abortion throughout his political career and still does.

Giuliani recently flip-flopped on his position on partial-birth abortions after consistently opposing a ban on the gruesome abortion procedure. And in an effort to please pro-life advocates, he told the media just weeks ago that he would appoint judges as president who would strictly interpret the constitution.

Arizona Senator John McCain has perhaps the most consistent pro-life record of the bunch and has voted against abortion and abortion funding on a frequent basis in Congress.

McCain previously opposed reversing Roe v. Wade and missed a vote in Congress on a resolution supporting the Supreme Court decision. He later voted against the resolution in another vote and twice in the last few months said he supports overturning Roe.

However, McCain’s inconsistent views and his positions in favor of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research and supporting campaign finance reform that limits pro-life groups haven’t earned him any points.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney changed his position on abortion just a couple of years ago after supporting it throughout his political career. His conversion is met with skeptics from throughout the pro-life movement who doubt his sincerity and point to his health care program and support for limited embryonic stem cell research as proof he’s not genuine.

Through their staff members, the candidates — mostly Romney and McCain — have engaged in a battle in recent days with one campaign accusing the other of flip-flopping more or not being the best pro-life candidate.

McCain renewed his opposition to Roe last weekend and his campaign fired off a memo that LifeNews.com received pointing out inconsistencies in Romney’s abortion statements.

Romney conservative outreach staffer Gary Marx fired back and emailed LifeNews.com a rebuttal.

"Ask the pro-life movement where his leadership has been in the six years since 2000 that he’s been running for President," Marx said of McCain. "What has he done?"

The squabbling among candidates who don’t have any claim to the pro-life mantle has turned off some pro-life leaders.

"Come off it, guys, this is kind of unseemly," David Keene, the president of the American Conservative Union, told the web site Politico. "The people you’re doing this to aren’t stupid. Eventually they’ll figure out this is all bull."

Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance, who has the pulse of Republicans in the state that holds the first presidential caucus, says none of the three is consolidating support within the pro-life community.

"I don’t see any consensus on any candidate right now," he told Politico. "All three have got challenges."

Gary Bauer, a former presidential candidate who headed the Family Research Council, told the political web site that "The jury is still out."

"What a lot of people are looking for is do they understand the issue and do they understand that Roe v. Wade is the ultimate example of judicial activism?" he said, adding that rhetoric about appointing only "strict constructionists" isn’t sufficient.

Michael Franc of The Heritage Foundation told the web site that, ultimately, pro-life advocates may have to settle for a less than stellar candidate and support him over a Democratic nominee who will strongly support abortion.