by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2007
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — Abortion continues to play a role in the Republican presidential debates and last night’s third debate in New Hampshire was no exception. The debate saw Rudy Giuliani respond to criticism from a leading Catholic bishop, and Mitt Romney defend for the third time his shift a few years ago from pro-abortion to pro-life.
Earlier this week, Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence described Giuliani’s position on abortion as "pathetic," "confusing," and "hypocritical."
"I would never support a candidate who supports legalized abortion," Tobin said, as he criticized the former New York mayor’s "personally opposed, but" position as having no moral authority.
Asked about the criticism, Giuliani said he respects the beliefs of Catholic and religious leaders who are pro-life but she he believes the government should have no say in the abortion debate.
"And my view on abortion is that it’s wrong, but that ultimately government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman," he said. "That’s — that is my view that I — I consult my religion, I consult my reading of the Constitution, I consult my views of what I think are important in a pluralistic society."
"The reality that we have to respect the fact that there are people that are equally as religious, equally as moral that make a different decision about this," he added.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Mitt Romney about his position change on abortion and why pro-life advocates should trust him.
"Well, people can look at my record. I’m not going to apologize for the fact that I became pro-life," he said.
Romney gave the explanation he’s repeatedly given in the past in the debates, interviews and on the campaign trail about how he became pro-life after confronting the issue of embryonic stem cell research and realizing how Roe v. Wade cheapened the view society has on human life.
"I want to make it very clear that I’m pro-life," Romney said. "People here in New Hampshire have seen that I’ve fought for life."
"I know that I’ve got conservative credentials, and that’s one of the things that brings me to this race," the former Massachusetts governor added.