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Jesse Ventura on Abortion

Former Independent MN Governor


Illegalizing abortions won't stop abortions

My views on abortion come from my mom. She was a nurse in surgery for her entire adult life, and used to tell me how terrible it was before Roe v Wade--when back-alley abortions often placed the woman's life in danger. Today, some people live under a false premise that, if the government makes something illegal, it will go away. But then the illegal activity is simply controlled by an underground or criminal element. And, in the case of abortion, you will not receive the safety and precautions necessary.

Running for office in 1998, I'd been asked to fill out a questionnaire for the Minnesota Family Council. I said that, without question, I opposed any ban on partial-birth abortions. But I also stated at the time that, while I wouldn't promote any legislation calling for a 24-hour waiting period, I'd sign it if the legislature passed it.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.182-183 , Apr 1, 2008

Vetoed 4-hour waiting period for abortions

The Democratic Senate passed the 24-hour notification bill only a few days after the Republican House; my office was literally besieged with phone calls from both sides of the issue.

When asked on air about the 24-hour waiting period, I said: "It's not like driving into a McDonald's and pulling up and saying, 'I want a #4 cheeseburger.' You have to make an appointment." I went on: "Really, what I think the question comes down to is, how involved in our personal, private lives do we want to interject government?"

I made an offer to the right wing: "I'll sign this bill if you make all optional surgical procedures have a 24-hour waiting period, which would include liposuction." They were appalled.

Back in MN, I announced my decision on the bill in the governor's reception room. I said: "I have decided it is wrong for government to assume a role in something I have always believed was between a woman, her family, her doctor, and, if she chooses, her clergy." And I vetoed the bill.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.184-185 , Apr 1, 2008

Keep abortion legal on privacy grounds

Itís not so much that I think abortion should be legal as it is that I donít think it can be made illegal without abusing the Constitution. Unless the government barged in at the precise moment the woman was there in the operating room with her feet in the stirrups, how would the government know she was getting an abortion? How could they even know she is pregnant without infringing upon her rights? Ultimately, I have to support keeping it legal. The government has to stay out of this one.
Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p.150 , Jul 2, 2000

Doesnít support abortion, but leave them legal

I donít support abortion. I could never participate in one. But I think it would be a mistake to make them illegal again. What criminalization will do is force women into garages and back alleys, and then youíre going to have two lives in jeopardy. My mom, who was a nurse, used to talk about the messes that would come in after back-alley abortions went wrong. The way to stop abortion is to deal, philosophically & spiritually, with the people who get them. And thatís not something government can touc
Source: Ainít Got Time To Bleed, p. 42-3 , Jan 1, 1999

Abortion decision belongs with the woman and who she chooses

The decision of whether or not to have an abortion does not belong in politics. It belongs with the woman, her family, her physician and possibly her clergy. The choice is personal, not political, and should stay that way. We have too much governmental intrusion into peoplesí lives, we should decrease that intrusion, not impose it upon something that should be so personal.
Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign , Nov 1, 1998

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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013