by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani once again vowed to oppose forcing taxpayers to fund abortions. However, voters may not trust him on the issue because of a flip-flop earlier in the campaign in which he said funding should be mandatory because abortion is a constitutional right.
Giuliani has been touting adoptions in an effort to soften his pro-abortion stance and he told Republican voters in Iowa that he would also leave the Hyde Amendment in place.
That’s the national law that prohibits the federal government from paying for abortions except in very rare circumstances such as cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy.
Instead, he said he would leave it to states to determine whether they want to pay for abortions on their own.
"I believe that’s a fair balance," Giuliani said. "It allows states to make different decisions…meaning people can effectuate their will better."
Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, is one pro-life leader who told LifeNews.com she doesn’t trust Giuliani to protect Americans from paying for abortions despite his pledge not to do so.
"Pro-lifers welcome converts and are grateful for support from ambivalent politicians on crucial issues as they arise," Wright said.
"But it would be naive and dangerous, putting millions of lives in jeopardy, to bank on a presidential wannabe who, even when attempting to win our support, cannot defend and prove their deep commitment to pro-life principles," she explained.
This spring, Giuliani was accused of flip-flopping on the issue of taxpayer-funded abortions.
The former mayor told National Review Online on March 1 that he favored the Hyde Amendment. Then, in late March, Giuliani told CNN that he would support taxpayer funding of abortions.
“If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right, yes, if that’s the status of the law, then yes, I would, yes," he said.
But during a visit with the press a day later, Giuliani said he supported the Hyde Amendment and appeared to back off of his comments on state-funded abortions.
"I would want to see it decided on a state by state basis," Giuliani said. "And what that means is I would leave the Hyde Amendment in place."
"It’s been the law now, 17, 18 years, it’s part of the constitutional balance that I talked about yesterday and the Hyde Amendment leaves the funding issue largely to the states," he added. "They have to decide how they’re going to do it."
During the CNN interview, Giuliani told White House correspondent Dana Bash that his prior position in favor of abortions paid for with public funds wouldn’t change if he’s elected president.
Bash referenced a 1989 interview in which Giuliani said, "There must be public funding for abortions for poor women" and he disagreed with a veto by former President George Bush of a measure that would have paid for abortions with tax dollars.
Asked if he would have the same position as president, Giuliani said he "probably" would.
"I mean, I have to re-examine all of those issues and exactly what was at stake then—that was a long time ago," he explained. "Ultimately, [abortion] is a constitutional right, and therefore if it is a constitutional right ultimately, even if you do it on a state-by-state basis, you have to make sure that people are protected."