by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2007
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson says he won’t cede abortion issues to rival hopeful Hillary Clinton just because she’s a woman. He said he can represent the interests of abortion advocates as well as Clinton and pointed to how he will not appoint a Supreme Court justice who opposes Roe v. Wade.
"I believe my platform is the strongest pro-women’s platform and it shouldn’t be based just on the fact there’s a woman in the race," Richardson said.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, the site of the second primary battle, Richardson said he would promote abortion if elected president.
A former Clinton administration official, Richardson announced the start of his Women for Richardson effort, which seeks to recruit pro-abortion activists to support his campaign.
"This is not a constituency issue. This is not an issue of women being a special interest. Women are the majority in this country," Richardson said, according to an AP report. "What I’m doing here is addressing the interests of the majority."
In the speech, the current New Mexico governor said he would only appoint judges for the top federal court who agree with its landmark 1973 ruling that abortion should be legal and available with virtually no limits.
"When you talk about Supreme Court justices, you look at the enormous damage the Supreme Court has done over the last two months. It has not been a good summer," AP reported him saying.
Had added: "I am going to ask my Supreme Court justices _ anybody who applies _ are you for settled law, like Roe versus Wade? If you are not, you are not going to be appointed. Some people are going to call this a litmus test. I call it respecting precedent. It’s about putting women’s lives above politics."
This is the second time Richardson has said he will only appoint pro-abortion judges. He first made the statement in late June at a forum at Drake University while campaigning in Iowa, the site of the first presidential caucuses.
Calling Roe v. Wade "settled law," Richardson said he would not nominate a judge who disagreed with Roe.
"I would say [to potential Supreme Court nominees], ‘Do you believe that Roe v. Wade is settled law?’ If they say yes, they have a good chance of being picked. If they say no, I will not pick them," he explained.
Richardson has a long-standing record supporting abortion and he compiled only an 8% pro-life voting record on 79 roll call votes on pro-life issues during his tenure in Congress, according to National Right to Life.
During the 2004 presidential elections, he lent his support to the launch of a NARAL fundraising campaign that collected more than $25 million to elect pro-abortion presidential nominee John Kerry.
Richardson also supports embryonic stem cell research which involves the destruction of human life.
Last November, he said he wanted the New Mexico state legislature to force taxpayers to spend millions of dollars promoting the unproven science. He said he wanted to spend $10 million in state funds to make the University of New Mexico a leader in the controversial field.