by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — More pro-life leaders are coming forward saying they doubt a Los Angeles Times news story claiming likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson lobbied 16 years ago for a pro-abortion group. They say the Times has a history of bias on abortion and said Thompson has proven himself to be pro-life during his career.
The Times claimed Thompson represented the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association in 1991 in a lobbying effort to overturn President George Bush’s policy preventing taxpayer funding of groups that do abortions in other countries.
The Times later corrected its story, which contained an interview with a former official for the pro-abortion group who remembered a lunch she had with Thompson where he supposedly talked about an acting role in a movie that wasn’t made until over a decade later.
Furthermore, legal papers show Thompson wasn’t a registered lobbyist for the group at the time and lobbying papers he filed showed him touting other issues not related to the pro-abortion group.
Gary Bauer, who was the head of the Family Research Council at the time, told Politico "I think it’s a non-issue for two reasons."
"First, the facts are in question and second, this took place before he was in the United States Senate," Bauer explained. "The leak came from a pro-abortion group" and "the intention is to torpedo his campaign."
Tony Perkins, the current head of the group, told the news source that he’s not concerned about the story and said attempts by the mainstream media to attack pro-life candidates are becoming "so old."
"They find somebody who has staked out a pro-life position, and the first thing they say is that he’s supported a pro-abortion group," he said. "People are considering the source" he added so the possibly bogus story isn’t "getting traction."
"Based on his record, there is a willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt," Perkins said.
A spokesman for Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Politico that Land doesn’t believe the "validity of the reports." Jill Martin said Land "believes that most voters are interested in Thompson’s stance now."
That’s the position of Karen Cross of the National Right to Life Committee who told LifeNews.com that “It appears that there is an attempt to create confusion regarding former Senator Fred Thompson’s pro-life position."
“Senator Thompson had an excellent pro-life voting record while in the U.S. Senate," she said.
Pointing to records of his votes against abortion, euthanasia, and experimentation on unborn babies, Cross said “National Right to Life PAC supported Senator Thompson for the U.S. Senate in 1994 and 1996, and considered him to be a very pro-life Senator."