GOP Prez Candidates Back Partial-Birth Abortion Ruling, Democrats Opposed

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

GOP Prez Candidates Back Partial-Birth Abortion Ruling, Democrats Opposed Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 18
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Republican and Democratic candidates for president in 2008 predictably took different positions in response to a Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday upholding a federal ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure. GOP candidates supported the high court’s decision while Democrats opposed it.

On the Republican side, the candidates who lead in most polls — ex-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain — both side they agreed with the decision.

"I’m very happy about the decision given my position on abortion. Partial birth is one of the most odious aspects of abortion," McCain said at a campaign stop in South Carolina. "It is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life."

AP reported that he also said he felt vindicated for his work to get President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees approved — as he was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who worked to stop any filibusters against the nominees.

Meanwhile, Giuliani told AP, "The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion. I agree with it."

Giuliani previously opposed a ban on partial-birth abortions but told Fox News in February he had changed his position on it.

He previously told CNN’s Inside Politics in a 1999 interview that he did not support the partial-birth abortion ban saying, "No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing."

He also agreed with former President Clinton’s decision to veto the ban.

Yet, on the Fox News show, Giuliani said that he supports a ban on partial-birth abortion as long as there is a provision to protect the life of the mother.

"If it has provision for the life of the mother, then I would support it," he told the Fox News program.

In a statement to, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback indicated he also supported the partial-birth abortion ban ruling.

“This ban was enacted to put an end to one of the most grotesque forms of abortion, and it is completely in line with the respect for life that is at the very heart of our Constitution," he said. "This is a great step forward for our nation’s citizens, born and unborn.”

Of the Democrats running for president, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware voted for the ban while Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut voted against it.

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, missed votes on the ban running for president but said he doesn’t support it.

"The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women," Edwards told the Associated Press. "This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election."

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, also opposes the partial-birth abortion ban and the high court’s ruling and said he is "extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures" to do more to stop abortions.

He also worries the "conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade."