Rudy Giuliani Flip-Flops on Forcing Public Funding of Abortions

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

Rudy Giuliani Flip-Flops on Forcing Public Funding of Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Rudy Giuliani has always been in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion and he reiterated those views in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. However, he issued a statement Thursday seemingly flip-flopping on the issue and moving away from his interview comments.

Giuliani has been attempting to moderate his pro-life views during the race for the Republican nomination for president and California spokesman Bill Simon told the press in March that the former New York City mayor favored the Hyde Amendment.

That’s the national law that prohibits the federal government for paying for abortions except in very rare cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

"I have an assurance that he is in favor of the Hyde amendment," Giuliani told National Review Online on March 1.

Then, on Wednesday, Giuliani told CNN that he would support taxpayer funding of abortions “If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right, yes, if that’s the status of the law, then yes, I would, yes.”

But during a visit with the press on Thursday, Giuliani said he supported the Hyde Amendment and appeared to back off of his comments on state-funded abortions.

"I would want to see it decided on a state by state basis," Giuliani said. "And what that means is I would leave the Hyde Amendment in place."

"It’s been the law now, 17, 18 years, it’s part of the constitutional balance that I talked about yesterday and the Hyde Amendment leaves the funding issue largely to the states," he added. "They have to decide how they’re going to do it."

During the CNN interview Wednesday, 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."

While his pro-abortion position does nothing to endear Giuliani to pro-life Republican voters, his apparent flip-flops aren’t winning him friends on the pro-abortion side either.

In a blog on its web site, Jonathan Stein, a writer for the pro-abortion Mother Jones magazine, criticized Giuliani’s vacillating.

"So within the space of one interview, Giuliani says he would "probably" support public funding for abortions, then says he would have to support public funding because choice is a constitutional right, then says he would not support public funding except in a few instances," Stein writes.

"All of this from a guy who has spent his career being a strong pro-choice advocate, and is known for his strength and resolve," he added.

Giuliani also reiterated his position in favor of legalized abortion Wednesday,

"I’m in the same position now that I was 12 years ago when I ran for mayor—as mayor, which is, personally opposed to abortion, don’t like it, hate it, would advise that woman to have an adoption rather than abortion, hope to find the money for it," he said.

"But it is your choice, an individual right. You get to make that choice," he added.