by Steven Ertelt
May 23, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Rudy Giuliani knows his pro-abortion views don’t go over well with a Republican Party whose membership is largely pro-life. He’s tried to deflect criticism in recent weeks by saying he "hates" abortion — reminiscent of the attempts other candidates have made to highlight their personal opposition to abortion.
"I hate abortion," the ex-New York City mayor has said repeatedly, then adding, "people ultimately have to make that choice. If a woman chooses that, that’s her choice, not mine. That’s her morality, not mine."
Yet, the "personally opposed but" position that emphasizes an opposition to abortion but a failure to do anything in public policy to stop it has never gone over well with the pro-life movement.
In fact, most pro-life advocates see it as a slap in the face that a candidate for public office seemingly would share their view that destroying the lives of babies before birth is mortifying but do nothing about it.
That’s the observation of Washington Post opinion columnist Michael Gerson as well and he suggests the former mayor stop using the phrase "I hate abortion" in his stump speech and debate responses.
"But the question naturally arises: Why does Giuliani ‘hate’ abortion?" Gerson writes. "No one feels moral outrage about an appendectomy. Clearly he is implying his support for the … belief that an innocent life is being taken. And here the problems begin."
"How can the violation of a fundamental human right be viewed as a private matter?" Gerson says.
"Giuliani has chosen an option that is not an option — a belief that unborn life deserves our sympathy but does not deserve rights or justice. This view is likely to dog him in the primary process, not only because it is pro-choice but because it is incoherent," he concludes.
Other political observers agree, such as David Brody, the CBN News senior political reporter who frequently blogs on pro-life issues.
"Maybe Giuliani’s "I hate abortion" line should go. Tear it up. Take it out of the stump speech," he said, agreeing with Gerson. "I’m not sure it does him any favors. He hates abortion. OK. Who likes it? To say you hate abortion BUT… doesn’t play well with the pro-life crowd."
"The bottom line is that the abortion issue will continue to be a problem for him," Brody says.
He said the only way Giuliani can get past the abortion issue is if a major act of terrorism happens again in our nation and the respected 9-11 leader can get the country focused back on his record on national security issues.