by Steven Ertelt
April 26, 2007
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — Rudy Giuliani defended his position on abortion and partial-birth abortion during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Tuesday. The former New York City mayor told voters that he’s not being inconsistent when he says he supports abortion but also backs the Supreme Court ruling on the partial-birth abortion ban.
Giuliani insisted that his recent support for the partial-birth abortion ban and the high court’s ruling upholding it was consistent with his past opposition to the ban.
"I think you can be personally opposed to it, hate abortion, respect somebody else’s conscience who might make a different decision, and also believe that particular form of abortion is wrong," he said.
He said he shifted his position on the ban when lawmakers adopted "more scientific language" in the life of the mother provision in the bill in 2003.
Giuliani explained that he opposed the partial-birth abortion ban in the 1990s and supported President Clinton’s two vetoes of it because he didn’t think the life of the mother exception was strong enough.
However, the premise behind Clinton’s vetoes was his contention that the ban needed a health exception despite medical groups saying that the three-day-long abortion procedure is never medically necessary.
Giuliani previously told CNN’s Inside Politics in a 1999 interview, that he does not support even a modest ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure saying, "No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing."
Yet, in a Fox News interview in February, 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.
But his pro-abortion views overall are turning him off with GOP voters and the more the abortion issue comes up the more his poll numbers are beginning to fall.
Republican voters have previously turned away pro-abortion candidates from capturing the primary nod, including former California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. Republicans haven’t had a pro-abortion nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are the top two candidates in the polls apart from Giuliani.
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are also running and drawing significant support from the pro-life community.
Other potential Republican candidates include pro-life former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pro-life Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Tom Tancredo of Colorado, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson are also in the mix.