Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Take Divergent Stand on Ted Kennedy’s Legacy

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Take Divergent Stand on Ted Kennedy’s Legacy

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 26
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — With former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy taking a strongly pro-abortion stance throughout much of his career, the response to his passing from pro-life and pro-abortion groups is as expected. Kennedy was a hero or mistaken on abortion, depending on the point of view.

Brian Burch, the head of the pro-life group, said Kennedy’s legacy is "mixed" because of his abortion advocacy.

"We applaud the late Senator for efforts to improve education, assist the poor, and for working to help the uninsured," he told Wednesday. "Sadly, on the most seminal issue of our day, the plight of unborn children, Senator Kennedy’s legacy evokes deep sadness."

Burch noted the Kennedy flip-flop on abortion that turned a highly-regarded lawmaker into a strong opponent.

"During his early days in the Senate, Kennedy fittingly included the rights of unborn children in his dedication to protecting the most vulnerable," Burch said. "Since that time, millions of Catholics have been both saddened and disappointed by his decision to abandon the defense of unborn children and their mothers, a position contrary to the common good."

But, in a comment that is already drawing guffaws from pro-life advocates, Planned Parenthood praised Kennedy’s pro-abortion record.

"Ted Kennedy is survived by a legacy of providing a voice to those Americans who otherwise would not have been heard," its president Cecile Richards said.

Ellen Malcom, the president of Emily’s List, also presently a starkly different picture of Kennedy in her comments about his death.

"Kennedy was a true champion for women and families in the United States and around the world. He was a major supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment," she said of the measure that has been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions.

Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute says Kennedy was a "remarkable individual," but has left a "sad legacy" of opposition to pro-life values.

"Senator Kennedy was certainly opposed to many of our traditional value issues," he said. Kennedy "epitomized what is wrong with our leaders and their value of life."

Meanwhile, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, recalled how he had stood "constantly in the frontline… for the rights of immigrants, on gun control and minimum wages."

But it noted that Kennedy "unfortunately, also took a on position that in favor of abortion."

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