by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2007
Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com) — Political observers anxiously awaited a press conference on Monday by pro-life Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who they expected to announce a candidacy for the GOP nomination for president. Instead, the senator said he was not announcing anything but indicated he could still seek the nomination later this year.
"I am here today to announce that my family and I will make a decision on my political future later this year," he told the press.
"In making this announcement, I believe there will still be political options open to me at a later date, but that will depend on the people of Nebraska and this country,” Hagel said. “I cannot control that, and I do not worry about it.”
When a reporter suggested that some may be frustrated with his non-announcement, Hagel said he wasn’t concerned.
“It’s my timeline," he said in response.
Instead of saying he would run for president, Hagel said he needed to focus on pressing political issues.
"America now reaches for a national consensus of purpose," Hagel said. "America’s response to the challenges and opportunities that confront us today will define our future. Finding solutions to these challenges and capitalizing on these opportunities will not wait until the next election."
Hagel is pro-life and has voted to oppose both abortion and embryonic stem cell research funding in Congress.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, Hagel has a very strong pro-life voting record having voted 100% pro-life on abortion issues since 1997 on dozens of votes over the years. Those include votes on promoting abortion or funding it with taxpayer funds in a variety of situations.
Hagel voted against a bill to overturn President Bush’s limits on forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research and voted repeatedly against a Senate resolution endorsing Roe v. Wade.
“I do not support using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of human embryos," he said after the July 2006 vote and added that he supports alternatives like adult stem cell research and "ways to harvest stem cell lines without destroying human embryos."
"In 2001, I supported the decision President Bush made to allow federally funded stem cell research to proceed only under strict guidelines which will not result in the destruction of any additional human embryos," he explained. "I will support President Bush’s veto of this legislation."
He has also voted for a ban on partial-birth abortion, protecting pregnant women like Laci Peterson and their unborn children, and voting repeatedly to uphold parental involvement laws and prohibit other adults from taking teens to another state for a secret abortion.
About the latter bill, Hagel said, “State parental notification and consent laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court."
"These responsible state laws should not be circumvented by those who would take a young girl across state lines for an abortion. It is in the interest of a young pregnant daughter to have parental involvement in their medical decision," he added.