Republicans Romney, Thompson and Paul Address Abortion During Debate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 28, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Republicans Romney, Thompson and Paul Address Abortion During Debate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 28,

Washington, DC ( — Three of the Republican candidates were given a chance to address the issue of abortion during the presidential debate in Florida. Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul all expressed pro-life positions and said they favored overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade case that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.

Mitt Romney had the first opportunity and it came as a response to a television commercial from the Fred Thompson campaign.

Thompson’s commercial highlights Romney’s flip-flop on abortion and it included old footage of Romney promoting abortion.

"I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it," Romney says in the video.

Asked to respond to the clip, Romney appeared upset that he had to address his conversion to the pro-life perspective yet again.

"I don’t know how many times I can tell it. I was wrong. All right. I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office," he said.

"If people in this country are looking for someone who’s never made a mistake on a policy issue and is not willing to admit they’re ever wrong, why then they’re going to have to find somebody else, because on abortion I was wrong," he added.

"I’m proud to be pro-life, and I’m not going to be apologizing to people for becoming pro-life," he concluded.

Meanwhile, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson said overturning Roe should be "our number one focus right now" and that he would appoint the kind of judges to the Supreme Court who would reverse the decision.

Answering a question on who should be penalized when it comes to making abortions illegal, Thompson said the same process should be followed as in the current ban on partial-birth abortions where abortion practitioners who violate the law face fines and prison terms.

"I think that same pattern needs to be followed. It could just be moved up earlier, or much earlier in the process if the state so determined," he explained.

Congressman Ron Paul also answered the abortion question and indicated he never saw any reason for a woman to have an abortion.

"I’m an O.B. doctor, and I practiced medicine for 30 years, and I of course never saw one time when a medically necessary abortion had to be done," he said.

At the same time, Paul admitted he doesn’t want to see a national ban on abortions.

"I don’t think it should be all 50 states the same way. So, I don’t think that should be up to the president to decide that," he said.