Rudy Giuliani Begins Abortion Stance Defense, No Judicial Litmus Test

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Rudy Giuliani Begins Abortion Stance Defense, No Judicial Litmus Test Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 13
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Rudy Giuliani began a stronger defense of his pro-abortion position on Sunday in an interview with Fox News after coming under fire for comments saying he supported taxpayer funding of abortions and news that he gave Planned Parenthood six donations during the 1990s.

Giuliani also told the news channel that he will not have any abortion litmus test should he become president — something that may worry pro-life advocates who are delighted that the Supreme Court is moving closer to overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I’m going to select strict constructionist judges," he said but indicated he didn’t care if they ruled against the landmark abortion decision or not.

"They’re free to take a look at Roe against Wade, take a look at the limitations. But I believe I should leave it to them to decide that," Giuliani said.

The former mayor told Fox News that he will always personally oppose abortion but said he believes that Americans must each other’s beliefs about its legality.

"In a society like ours, where people have very, very different consciences about this, it’s best for us to respect each other’s differences and allow for choice," he told Fox News. "I am open and will continue to be open to ways to limit abortion."

The comments came shortly after an appearance in Houston at where he said that his record as New York mayor and his dealing with issues like terrorism and crime made him the best candidate for president.

He said Republicans should support him on that basis even though he disagrees with most members of his party by supporting abortion and wanting to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

"If we don’t find a way of uniting around broad principles that will appeal to a large segment of this country, if we can’t figure that out, we are going to lose this election," he said.

But Richard Land, a pro-life spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, told AP that pro-life voters will not support Giuliani because their views against abortion are so strong.

"The mayor’s position on abortion couldn’t be more repugnant to pro-lifers," he said. "It shows a moral obtuseness that is stunning."

Polling data confirms the notion that a pro-life stance if helpful for the Republican candidate for president because the Democratic Party continues to nominate abortion advocates.

Post-eletion polling after the 2004 presidential elections found that President Bush’s pro-life stance gave him an edge over pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry.

A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 42 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.

Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.