Giuliani Defends Abortion Position as He Struggles to Convince Conservatives

By Peter J. Smith

  HOUSTON, Texas, May 14, 2007 ( - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani tried once again to convince conservatives last Friday that they should support him despite his pro-abortion record.

  The former mayor appeared before 500 students and faculty at Houston Baptist University last Friday, where he discussed his support for abortion among other topics such as his record as mayor of New York, fiscal responsibility in government, and the ongoing war in Iraq.

"This is a matter of deep and profound judgment," Giuliani said in a speech. "It’s a matter of morals. It’s a matter of your interpretation of how laws should operate, your interpretation of how respect for the rights of others should operate. But in a country like ours ... I believe you have to respect their viewpoint and give them a level of choice. I would grant women the right to make that choice."

  While Giuliani said he believes abortion is "morally wrong," he said he believed individuals should decide for themselves and their decisions should be respected. Giuliani has a long history of supporting abortion-on-demand, including public funding for abortions, support for Roe v. Wade, and until very recently partial-birth abortion.

"You have a right to evaluate this in figuring out if you can support me, and at what level you can support me," Giuliani said. "Everybody’s got to make a choice. How important are the differences and then how important are the other issues that are involved in this election?"

  Last Tuesday, conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham grilled Giuliani over his personal opposition to abortion in an interview, asking how he could justify his $900 in contributions to Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion providers in America with multi-million dollar profits, if he personally "hates" abortion. Giuliani responded the abortion provider gave out information to women about abortion, and that was consonant with his position. Giuliani told Ingraham he would personally encourage ultrasounds for women considering abortion, but would not support a policy as President to mandate it.

  At last Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, Giuliani also appeared indifferent to the fate of Roe v. Wade - unlike the other nine Republican candidates - where he said it would be "OK" to repeal it or let it remain as precedent.

  Giuliani asked pro-life supporters to disregard his pro-abortion history throughout his campaign. Last month at a stop in Des Moines, Iowa, the former mayor created a furor among conservatives after he told audiences "our party has to get beyond issues like that." (

  A thrice-married pro-abortion Catholic, Giuliani has come under more scrutiny for his anti-life views after Pope Benedict XVI recently voiced his support for excommunicating pro-abortion politicians. ( The New York Daily News reports that two New York priests, Rev. Joseph Marabe of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Msgr. Thomas Modugno, pastor of St. Monica’s, the East Side church where Giuliani wed his second wife (now divorced), have stated they would deny communion to Giuliani over his abortion position.

  Related coverage:

  Giuliani Outrages Conservatives With "Get Beyond" Abortion Snipe

  Pope Supports Excommunication for Pro-Abortion Politicians - "Incompatible with Receiving Communion" 

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