Rudy Giuliani on Abortion

Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)

Personally oppose abortion, but let the woman decide

I oppose abortion, but I believe that ultimately the government should leave that decision to a woman and her conscience. I would like to see limitations on abortion. I brought those about in New York City. We reduced abortions. We increased adoptions by 135 percent. But ultimately, it’s a position that I thought out a long time ago. For me it’s a position on conscience, and it’s a position that, in spite of the fact that Alan wouldn’t vote for me, I’m not going to change.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate Dec 12, 2007

Would probably not sign federal ban on all abortions

Q: If hypothetically, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it?

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.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Ultimate decision by woman, her conscience & her doctor

I believe the best way we can have common ground in this debate that you’re hearing is if we put our emphasis on reducing abortions and increasing the number of adoptions, which is something that I did as mayor of New York City. But I think ultimately that decision that has to be made is one that government shouldn’t make. Ultimately, a woman should make that with her conscience and ultimately with her doctor.
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

2000: ran against Hillary as a pro-choice candidate

While Hillary’s pro-choice stance was a big part of her Senate Platform, it was by no means unique to her. Her opponent was the Republican mayor of NYC, Rudy Giuliani, who despite his party affiliation and his Catholicism, was also pro-choice. At times, Giuliani squared off with Mrs. Clinton over who was a greater champion of abortion rights. In January 2000, the NY Times tried to keep score in a feature on Mrs. Clinton and abortion. The piece stated, “Signaling that she will not yield on the issue of abortion rights in her race for the US Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday presented herself as a stronger advocate on the issue than Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Mrs. Clinton said she would make protecting abortion rights a central concern if she is elected.”

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

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.193-194 Jul 18, 2007

Allowing choice keeps government out of people’s lives

Q [to GIULIANI]: You have said that you personally hate abortion but support a woman’s right to choose. Gov. Huckabee says that’s like saying, “I hate slavery, but people can go ahead and practice it.” Tell me why he’s wrong.

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

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Seek bipartisan ways to reduce abortion & increase adoption

Q [to GILMORE]: You like to say that “Rudy McRomney” is not a conservative & he knows he’s not a conservative. Why?

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

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Forever against abortion; but respect others’ choice

Q: You said it would be OK if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and also OK if they didn’t.

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 14, 2007

Appoint constructionist judges, but no litmus test

Q: Would you personally be disappointed if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 14, 2007

Would personally advise women against abortion

Q: You say that while you support a woman’s right to choose, that you personally hate abortion and you wish people didn’t have them. Why?

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.

Q: Why?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 14, 2007

1997:Supported partial birth; opposed parental notificiation

Q: Here’s a copy of the questionnaire you filled out for NARAL, the abortion rights group, back in ‘97, when you were running for re- election as mayor.Q: Since then, you have moved in the direction of restricting abortions in all of these areas. Why?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 14, 2007

Would not oppose strong pro-life plank of GOP platform

Q: If you become the nominee of the Republican Party in September of 2008, will you try to change the Republican Party platform, which has been pro-life since 1976 and now says, “The unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 14, 2007

Giuliani donated to Planned Parenthood throughout 1990s

Rudy Giuliani has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the ‘90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country’s leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.

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.

Source: Jonathan Martin on Politico.com May 7, 2007

Ok to repeal Roe v. Wade, but ok to view it as precedent too

Q: Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?

ROMNEY: Absolutely.

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.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

Allow states to fund or not fund abortion

Q: You became very well known for standing up against the use of public funds for what many people considered indecent exhibits at the Brooklyn museum and places like that. Why do you support the use of public funds for abortion?

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.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

Encourage adoptions; ban partial-birth abortion

Abortion is a very, very difficult issue of conscience for many, many people. In my case, I hate abortion. I would encourage someone to not take that option. When I was mayor of New York City, I encouraged adoptions. Adoptions went up 65%. Abortions went down 16%. I support the ban on partial-birth abortion. I support the Hyde amendment. But ultimately, I think when you come down to that choice, you have to respect a woman’s right to make that choice differently than my conscience.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

Embryonic stem cell research ok if limited properly

Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?

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.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

FactCheck: Encouraged adoptions; but over-stated results

Rudy Giuliani overstated a rise in adoptions during his term as mayor. Giuliani said, “Adoptions went up 65% to 70%; abortions went down 16%.”

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.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library May 3, 2007

As mayor, supported public funding for abortion

Rudy Giuliani is a hero to many people in America. There are just a few problems. Rudy became a big pro-choice man when he became mayor, going so far as to support public funding for abortion.

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?

Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p.178-179 Oct 11, 2005

Pro-choice; no ban on partial-birth abortions

“I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights,” Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. “No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing,” he responded.
Source: CNN.com, “Inside Politics” Dec 2, 1999

Other candidates on Abortion: Rudy Giuliani on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010