The Corner

Deroy Murdock on Giuliani’s Abortion Record

Murdock’s article is largely a defense of that record from a pro-life perspective. A couple of points.

1) Murdock writes: “An NRO editorial even predicted that ‘an America with Giuliani’s favored policies would be a country with more abortion — probably reversing the 15-year trend of decline…’ This conclusion is dubious. . .”

In context, what the editorial is saying here is that Giuliani would have all American states provide funding for abortion, and that this policy would increase the abortion rate. If Murdock disagrees with either portion of that claim, he should explain why.

2) Murdock again: “My NRO colleagues complained Monday that ‘New York City’s abortion rate had a long way to fall: Even after its decline, it remained much higher than the national average.’ Yes, it’s true. Mayor Giuliani did not erase abortion in New York City. But it fell plenty on his watch. Does he deserve no credit for that?”

Well, no, actually, he doesn’t. I don’t see why Giuliani should get credit for one cherry-picked statistic (abortion rates fell in NYC faster than the national average) while not getting blame for any of the other statistics (e.g., abortion rates fell faster statewide than they did in NYC). Murdock barely even tries to show that Giuliani did anything to bring the abortion rate down. For the most part, he merely points out that Giuliani could have been more aggressively pro-abortion. That hardly makes the case for him.

3) Murdock’s conclusion: “Giuliani also can help extract his bandwagon from this pothole by energetically embracing the Hyde Amendment — a law with which politicians Left, middle, and Right have made peace. Rudolph W. Giuliani cannot repeat this loudly and often enough: ‘Congress got Uncle Sam out of abortion funding in 1976, and I will keep Uncle Sam out of it.’”

Good advice. Now will Giuliani pledge to veto abortion funding if the Congress sends it to him?

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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