Rudy Giuliani on Abortion
Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)
Later he tried to clarify his position, calling abortion "morally wrong" but nonetheless said he believed the choice should be left to the woman. "I am open to seeking ways of limiting abortions and I am open to decreasing abortions," he said. "But I believe you have to respect [women's] viewpoint and give them a level of choice. I would grant women the right to make that choice." The speech left all sides unhappy. Social conservatives saw a pro-abortion liberal. His former abortion rights allies in NYC saw a turncoat.
A: I probably would not sign it. I would leave it to the states to make that decision. I think that the problem with Roe against Wade is that it took the decision away from the states.
In May 2000, shortly before the primary, the political situation for Republicans hit a snag when a diagnosis of prostate cancer forced Giuliani out of the race
GIULIANI: There is no circumstances under which I could possibly imagine anyone choosing slavery or supporting slavery. There are millions of Americans, who are as of good conscience as we are, who make a different choice about abortion. And I think in a country where you want to keep government out of people’s lives from the point of view of coercion, you have to respect that.
Q: Governor, has the mayor persuaded you?
HUCKABEE: He has not. I have great respect for the mayor because he’s been honest about his position
GILMORE: Giuliani has said that he is against federal funding of abortions, but is in favor of federal financing of abortions. But then on the other hand, he said in the last debate he was against the Hyde Amendment.
Q [to GIULIANI]: You’re pro-choice, you’re pro-gay rights, you’re pro-gun control; Are those the stands of a conservative?
GIULIANI: I think Rudy McRomney wouldn’t make a bad ticket. And I kind of like the order. According to George Will, I ran the most conservative government in the last 50 years in NYC. I look for ways in which we can come together. I think we can all agree that we should seek reductions in abortion. I ultimately do believe in a woman’s right of choice, but I think that there are ways in which we can reduce abortions. Abortions went down 16% & adoptions went up 133% when I was mayor. We can work together and achieve results that we all want
A: I’m very, very passionate about abortion and the whole issue of abortion. But it leads me to a conclusion, which is I oppose it. That’s a principle I’ve held forever, and I’ll hold it forever. That’s not going to change. But I also believe that in a society like ours, where people have very different consciences about this, it’s best for us to respect each other’s differences and allow for choice. So with regard to Roe against Wade, since my view is that there shouldn’t be a litmus test on Roe v. Wade, it seems to me the best position to take is I don’t want a litmus test for judges.
Then you personally would not feel it’s OK if the Supreme Court overturned it?
A: The country could handle it. We’ve got a federal system. What would happen is states would make decisions.
A: I don’t think it’s a question of being disappointed or being happy about it. I think it’s a question of not wanting to make this a litmus test for judges, so that a judge feels free to listen to the facts, listen to the arguments, and come to the decision they think is the correct interpretation of the Constitution. Some strict constructionist judges are going to decide it was wrongly decided. Other strict constructionist judges may give more weight to the precedential value of it, the fact that it’s been the law for this length of time. You can see the tension there between these two things. And I think the court should be allowed to decide this.
Q: Would you nominate someone whose record shows that he opposes a woman’s right to choose?
A: If I thought that on 20 other issues they would be terrific, I might be able to, sure. I don’t consider it a litmus test.
A: Many millions of Americans have that same position that I have. Personally, if you asked my advice, if a woman asked my advice about abortion, the advice that I would give is: Shouldn’t have the abortion, better to have the child, I’ll help you, I’ll support you in that choice.
A: Because I think having the child is a much better decision. I think it’s a much better moral decision. I think it’s much better for society. I think adoption is a better option than abortion. I supported that position by helping adoptions increase in New York when I was the mayor by 66%. During the 8 years that I was the mayor, adoptions over the eight years before went up 130%. I have a very strong view about that. I have an equally strong view that in a society like ours, you have to respect the right of other people who are of equally good conscience.
A: Correct. On parental notification: I looked at the laws that were passed. They created judicial bypass. It seems to me that that is a reasonable way to do it. On partial-birth abortion, I was concerned that there’d be exceptions for the life and the health of the mother. The 2003 congressional hearings, and then the eventual legislation, made provision for the life of the mother and made findings on the health of the mother with which I agreed. I supported it then. I supported the decision.
A: I’m not going to deal with the platform. Any candidate of the party has about 9 out of 10 things in the platform they agree with and 1 or 2 things that they don’t agree with. I know what my positions are. A very, very big portion of my party agrees with that. A certain portion of my party disagrees with that. My attempt is to try to broaden the base of the Republican Party, to try to bring in people that can agree and that can disagree on that, because I think the issues that we face about terrorism, about our economy, about the growth of our economy are so important that we have to have the biggest outreach possible.
Federal tax returns show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999. The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani’s support for Planned Parenthood was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.
Planned Parenthood was founded in NYC in 1916. They performed 264,943 abortions in 2005. In addition to providing abortions, the organization also provides birth control, emergency contraception, testing for STDs and other gynecological services.
BROWNBACK: It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.
GILMORE: Yes, it was wrongly decided.
HUCKABEE: Most certainly.
McCAIN: A repeal.
GIULIANI: It would be OK to repeal. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent and I think a judge has to make that decision.
Q: So it would be OK if they didn’t repeal it?
GIULIANI: I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it. We’re a federalist system of government and states can make their own decisions.
TANCREDO: After 40 million dead because we have aborted them in this country, I would say that that would be the greatest day in this country’s history when that, in fact, is overturned.
A: I don’t. I support the Hyde amendment. I hate abortion. I wish people didn’t have abortions.
Q: So you’re not for funding at all?
A: I believe that the Hyde amendment should remain the law. States should make their decision. Some states decide to do it. Most states decide not to do it. And I think that’s the appropriate way to have this decided.
Q: When you were mayor of New York, should the state should have been paying for abortion?
A: That’s a decision New York made a long time ago.
Q: And where were you on that?
A: I supported it in New York, but I think, in other places, people can come to a different decision.
A:As long as we’re not creating life in order to destroy it, as long as we’re not having human cloning, and we limit it to that, and there is plenty of opportunity to then use federal funds in those situations where you have limitations. So I would support it with those limitations, like Senator Coleman’s bill in Congress.
Actually, adoptions rose only 17% during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor, according to the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. It’s true adoptions went up by 73% between 1994 and 1997 -- the first three years he was in office. But from that peak they slid back by 32% before he left office, erasing most of the initial gain.
And what about gay rights? When he moved out of Gracie Mansion, he moved in with a gay couple who were friends of his. Didn't bother anybody in New York. In South Carolina, on the other hand, how do Republican primary voters deal with a pro-choice, pro-funding, pro-gay-rights candidate?
|Other big-city mayors on Abortion:||Rudy Giuliani on other issues:|
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)