Fred Thompson Doesn’t Back Amendment Banning Abortions, Wants Roe Reversed

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fred Thompson Doesn’t Back Amendment Banning Abortions, Wants Roe Reversed

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5,

Washington, DC ( — Fred Thompson said in an interview on Sunday that he does not support the Republican Party’s platform advocating a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would afford legal protection to unborn children and ban abortions. Thompson also reconfirmed he supports overturning the Roe v. Wade case that allowed abortions.

In an interview with Tim Russert on NBC’s "Meet the Press" television program, Russert read Thompson the language of the GOP’s pro-life platform.

He asked the Republican presidential hopeful, "Could you run as a candidate on that platform, promising a human life amendment banning all abortions?"

"No," Thompson replied. "No. I have always—and that’s been my position the entire time I’ve been in politics."

"I thought Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. I think this platform originally came out as a response to particularly Roe v. Wade because of that," Thompson added.

He told Russert that he favors overturning the landmark case and returning the decisions on making abortions illegal to the states.

"Before Roe v. Wade, states made those decisions. I think people ought to be free at state and local levels to make decisions that even Fred Thompson disagrees with," he said.

"That’s what freedom is all about. And I think the diversity we have among the states, the system of federalism we have where power is divided between the state and the federal government is, is, is—serves us very, very well," he added. "I think that’s true of abortion. I think Roe v. Wade hopefully one day will be overturned, and we can go back to the pre-Roe v. Wade days."

Russert asked him if he supported each state making their own abortion laws.

"Yeah," Thompson replied. "but to have an amendment compelling—going back even further than pre-Roe v. Wade, to have a constitutional amendment to do that, I do not think would be the way to go."

Twice during the interview, Thompson indicated he couldn’t support a human life amendment because he doesn’t want to put young women or their parents in jail for having an abortion or being a part of one.

However, no human life amendment the pro-life community has supported has ever advocated putting women in jail, but has always targeted the abortion practitioner for violating a law banning abortions.

The NBC host asked Thompson when he thought human life began and cited a 1994 paper indicated he didn’t know.

"No. I didn’t know then," Thompson said, but explaining that his pro-life views have strengthened over the years.

"My head has always been the same place. My public position has always been the same. I’ve been 100 percent pro-life in every vote that I’ve ever cast in, in my service to the United States Senate," he said.

He continued on about his voting record during his tenure as a Tennessee senator.

"I had an opportunity to vote on an array of things over eight years, whether it be partial birth abortion, whether it be Mexico City policy, whether it be transporting young girls across state lines to avoid parental notification laws and all that–100 percent pro-life," Thompson added.

He said of his Senate voting record — "that’s the way I would govern if I was president."

"I would take those same positions. No federal funding for abortion, no nothing that would in any way encourage abortion," he added.

Thompson said that when he became a father again more recently that he saw an ultrasound of his unborn child and that it strengthened his resolve that life begins at conception. Russert asked him to confirm that point.

"So while you believe that life begins at conception, the taking of a human life?" Russert asked — and Thompson replied that he did.