by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Fred Thompson takes a clear pro-life stance on the issue of abortion but the former Tennessee senator isn’t always clear in his presentation of his views. In a statement released on Thursday, Thompson said there are only a few very rare cases when an abortion should be allowed.
"I believe abortion should only be allowed in the instances of rape, incest and the life of the mother," Thompson said.
According to figures from the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood research arm, less than one percent of all abortions in the United States occur in such circumstances.
He’s been frequently asked in the news media about when someone engaged in an illegal abortion should be punished and Thompson appears to understand abortion has two victims.
He said any penalties for an illegal abortion "should be assessed against the abortion doctor and not the woman."
Ramesh Ponnuru, a columnist with National Review and a pro-life author, said the statement is "pretty significant" given that Thompson has frequently said he favors reversing Roe v. Wade.
"As far as I know, it’s the first time Thompson has said that abortion should be illegal," Ponnuru said.
He also likes the phrasing Thompson uses concerning who penalties for abortion practitioners.
"He also suggests that the ‘abortion doctors’ should be penalized in some way, in contrast to his past remarks that ‘physicians’ should not be ‘criminalized," Ponnuru says. "I’m pleased that he has shifted toward my position."