Rudy Giuliani May Have Problems in South Carolina Over Pro-Abortion Stance

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Rudy Giuliani May Have Problems in South Carolina Over Pro-Abortion Stance Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5
, 2007

Columbia, SC ( — Just one day after Rudy Giuliani admitted that he still favors taxpayer funding of abortions, political observers and activists in South Carolina say the former New York City mayor will have problems connecting with Republican voters there because they are strongly pro-life.

In his comments in CNN interview yesterday he also affirmed his pro-abortion position and backed off from suggesting that Supreme Court judges he would appoint would harshly examine Roe.

As a result of the new comments, Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard says Giuliani is "toast" in the state.

"I think it’s going to be really hard for him to overcome this in South Carolina," he told the Associated Press.

Pro-life advocates who are familiar with the opinions of likely GOP primary voters say Giuliani will face an uphill battle in the state, which is the third in line in the primary election contest.

Oran Smith, executive director of the Palmetto Family Council, told AP, "That’s usually one of the first thing off the list when you talk about things related to abortion," referring to public funding of abortion.

Smith said that even some abortion advocates won’t go as far as Giuliani did.

"I’m a bit surprised that he would make that comment because, in a Republican primary, you’re going to need the evangelical vote," Christian Coalition president Roberta Combs added.

In the interview, Giuliani told White House Correspondent Dana Bash that his prior position in favor of abortions paid for with public funds wouldn’t change if he’s elected president.

Bash referenced a 1989 interview in which Giuliani said, "There must be public funding for abortions for poor women" and disagreeing with a veto by former President George Bush of a measure that would have paid for abortions with tax dollars.

Asked if he would have the same position as president, Giuliani said he "probably" would.

"I mean, I have to re-examine all of those issues and exactly what was at stake then—that was a long time ago," he explained. "Ultimately, [abortion] is a constitutional right, and therefore if it is a constitutional right ultimately, even if you do it on a state-by-state basis, you have to make sure that people are protected."

Asked again if he supported "taxpayer money or public funding for abortions," Giuliani said yes.

"If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right, yes, if that’s the status of the law, then I would, yes," he said.