The Corner

Giuliani: Against Abortion (Sort Of)

Yesterday I wrote that Giuliani’s traction with social conservatives might have something to do with the fact that he disagrees with them respectfully and at least seems to take their concerns seriously—a rare thing in the heated social-issue debates. I think that alone makes him worth some consideration as a candidate

But it’s worth noting that his abortion position requires some rhetorical contortions.  Radio Iowa has Giuliani saying he “hates” abortion and Bloomberg quotes him as saying “I’d like to see abortion reduced, I’d like to see it ended, but ultimately I believe that a woman has a right to choose.”  So, he hates it, he wants the practice to end, and he’s willing to do… nothing to stop it?  Now, obviously, abortion is a politically tricky issue, but that sort of slippery language shows that, at least in this particular insistence, Giuliani is willing to espouse a conviction without taking much action to back it up—not the most appealing trait for any politician, and certainly not for one running in large part on strength and decisiveness. 

Moreover, in the Radio Iowa piece, he trots out the old straw man about how he wouldn’t want to put women in jail. But who’s arguing that the alternative to abortion-on-demand is jailing women who have abortions?  It’s a misrepresentation of the pro-life position, and Giuliani’s got to know that. 

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