by Steven Ertelt
April 9, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Rudy Giuliani’s problems with his position on abortion continued into this week after he told CNN last week that he supported taxpayer-funded abortions and then promptly backed away from the comments.
On Monday, Giuilani adviser Bill Simon wrote a letter to National Review Online, a prominent conservative magazine and tried to defend Giuliani’s record.
He cited research from University of Alabama professor Michael New, who is one of the most highly regarded analysts of the effect of abortion laws on reducing the number of abortions.
Simon told NR that abortions in New York City under Giuilani declined at a rate greater than the national average at the time adding that "Abortions declined by 16.8 percent in New York City during the Giuliani administration."
However, the magazine’s editors rebutted Simon saying that Professor New also wrote that “I cannot attribute this decline to any actual policy Giuliani implemented.”
They also pointed out that "New York City’s abortion rate had a long way to fall: Even after its decline, it remained much higher than the national average. Should Mayor Giuliani get credit for that fact as well?"
Simon tells NR that "Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly said that he will not seek to change current law as described in the Hyde Amendment" but the editors doubt the sincerity of the former mayor’s views.
"That a Republican candidate for president promises not to push for federal funding of elective abortion is far from the bare minimum he could do. Will he promise a veto if the Democratic Congress sends such legislation his way?" they wrote in response.
Simon also defended Giuliani on judges saying that "Giuliani would appoint strict-constructionist judges who will follow in the philosophical footsteps of Justices Thomas, Alito, and Scalia, and Chief Justice Roberts."
However, NR pointed to the Wednesday CNN interview during which Giuliani said a conservative judge could come to the conclusion that Roe v. Wade was a long enough precedent that it couldn’t be overturned.
"Giuliani has (gratuitously) noted that, in his view, keeping Roe on the books is perfectly compatible with strict constructionism," the NR editors said in response.
Simon concluded that he is pro-life and he and Giuliani may not agree on the issue of abortion entirely but that the ex-mayor respects his position.
NR countered that Giuliani has misrepresented the views of the pro-life community by accusing it of wanting to put women in jail who have had abortions.
"Does Simon’s pro-life commitment amount to a desire to put pregnant women in jail? If not, perhaps he should advise the mayor to stop representing that policy as the pro-life position," they said.
"On abortion, Giuliani and his campaign need to engage in less spin and more thinking," they concluded.