Fred Thompson Advisor Says He’s Pro-Life on Abortion Despite Old Survey

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 11, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fred Thompson Advisor Says He’s Pro-Life on Abortion Despite Old Survey Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 11
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — With some candidates at the top of the polls for the Republican primary for president who aren’t exciting the pro-life community, the likely entry of former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson into the race is a positive one. He has a strong pro-life record and his aides rebutted one of the only criticisms against him.

Thompson’s tenure in the Senate included votes on various abortion issues from stopping taxpayer funding to uphold parental involvement laws and he accumulated a 100% pro-life voting record during that time.

The former attorney even voted twice against a Senate resolution endorsing Roe v. Wade.

But Thompson has always been plagued by a 1994 candidate questionnaire that had him saying he favors numerous limits on abortion but supported the landmark Supreme Court case making it legal.

Thompson told Fox News recently he suspected the survey was completed by a staff member at the time and didn’t recall filling it out — and a current staff member of his potential presidential campaign confirmed that.

Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo told the Jackson Sun newspaper that a 1994 questionnaire for Project Vote Smart showing a box checked saying he supported legal abortion was erroneously completed by someone else at the time.

"Senator Thompson is pro-life. He has been consistently pro-life throughout his career, having been endorsed by National Right to Life and having a 100 percent pro-life voting record while in the Senate," Corallo said.

Thompson himself told the Weekly Standard in April that media outlets referred to him as supporting abortion back in the mid 1990s and he doesn’t know how that erroneous statement began.

"Although I don’t remember it, I must have said something to someone as I was getting my campaign started that led to a story," he said. Apparently, another story was based upon that story, and another was based upon that, concluding I was pro-choice."

Corallo told the Sun that Thompson supports one goal of the pro-life movement — to overturn Roe and allow states the chance to ban abortions once again.

"It is an issue of federalism — a matter that should go back to the states — and he has been consistent in that position throughout his career," he said.

But Corallo also indicated that Thompson would not go as far as the rest of the pro-life community and support a human life amendment to the Constitution to make sure unborn children are protected nationwide.

"As the senator has said publicly, he does not support a constitutional amendment banning abortion for the same reasons he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned — though in that case he believes it is both bad law and bad science," he told the newspaper.

During the Fox News program, Thompson confirmed he supports overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I’ve always thought that Roe v. Wade was a wrong decision, that they usurped what had been the law in this country for 200 years, that it was a matter that should go back to the states," he said.

"When you get back to the states, I think the states should have some leeway," he added.