Sam Brownback Endorses John McCain, But Pro-Life Concerns Remain

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 7, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sam Brownback Endorses John McCain, But Pro-Life Concerns Remain Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 7,

Washington, DC ( — Former Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback endorsed John McCain for the GOP nomination today. Brownback, a Kansas lawmaker and pro-life leader in the Senate, dropped out of the campaign weeks ago but his endorsement doesn’t dismiss some of the concerns the pro-life community has about the Arizona senator.

Pro-life advocates were concerned that Brownback might stand behind Rudy Giuliani after the two met. The senator told the media that he was more comfortable with Giuliani’s position on abortion afterwards.

However, Brownback appeared at a press conference in Iowa, an early primary state, and threw his support to McCain.

He said McCain has spent a lifetime "standing up for human rights around the world, including a consistent 24-year pro-life record of protecting the rights of the unborn."

Brownback is expected to accompany McCain to some Iowa campaign stops.

Of the several candidates considered most likely to receive the Republican nomination, McCain has probably excited the pro-life community the least.

Although McCain has a pro-life voting record on abortion, he has been a strong backer of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research which destroys days-old unborn children.

Surprisingly, Brownback has been one of the most articulate spokesman for the pro-life position on bioethics issues in the Senate, where McCain has voted repeatedly for bills to overturn President Bush’s limits on funding the unproven research.

McCain is also the architect of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform that pro-life groups vigorously opposed in Congress and challenged in court after it became law. The law places restrictions on the kinds of campaigning pro-life groups do during the election season.

Despite his pro-life voting record on abortion, McCain has also come under criticism for changing his position on whether he favors overturning Roe v. Wade.

He gave a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1999 in which he said he didn’t support repealing Roe.

"I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the newspaper at the time. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

Then, in February 2007, McCain told an audience at a South Carolina campaign stop over the weekend that he favored reversing the high court ruling.

“I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” McCain said.