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ELECTION 2008 | Huckabee Says Abortion Legality Should Not Be Decided by States

ELECTION 2008 | Huckabee Says Abortion Legality Should Not Be Decided by States
[Nov. 19, 2007]

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" said he does not believe that states should be allowed to decide whether to legalize abortion, adding that it is a moral issue not subject to different interpretations, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. "If morality is the point here, and if it's right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can't have 50 different versions of what's right and what's wrong," Huckabee said. He added, "For those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can't simply have 50 different versions of what's right."

Huckabee also said he was "surprise[d]" by the National Right to Life Committee's recent endorsement of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who also is running for the Republican nomination. "Fred's never had a 100% record on right to life in his Senate career," Huckabee said, adding, "The records reflect that. And he doesn't support the human life amendment, which is most amazing because that's been a part of the Republican platform since 1980" (Lester, AP/Yahoo! News, 11/18).

Thompson has said he would not support a constitutional amendment banning abortions, but wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned (Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 11/5). According to Thompson spokesperson Karen Hanretty, Thompson has a very strong record on abortion. NRLC said when it endorsed him that Thompson "has had a strong, consistent pro-life voting record throughout his political career" (AP/Yahoo! News, 11/18).

Gregg Trude of the Montana Right to Life Committee said NRLC leaders had interviewed Thompson and agreed that he was sincere in opposition to abortion rights, the Washington Times reports. Trude, who opposed Thompson's endorsement, also said, "The main reason for the endorsement of Thompson was simple electability" (Hallow, Washington Times, 11/19).

Transcripts of recent "Fox News Sunday" candidate interviews are available online.

Giuliani Reiterates Support for Constructionist Judges

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also is running for the Republican nomination, on Friday in a speech at the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C., reiterated his commitment to appointing conservative Supreme Court judges if elected, the AP/Boston Herald reports. "We're seeking to find judges who understand the very, very important concept that judges exist to interpret the law, not to invent the law," he said. He cited Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito as examples of the types of judges he would appoint to the court. Giuliani also said Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who are all running for the Democratic presidential nomination, would appoint judges who were "activists and try to legislate social policy," the AP/Herald reports (Kuhnhenn, AP/Boston Herald, 11/16).

M. Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an attendee of the meeting, said that he would have liked to hear Giuliani more explicitly oppose Roe, the New York Times reports. "Given the mixed signals that Rudy Giuliani has given in the past on abortion, I think it's unfortunate that he didn't use this occasion to clarify his understanding of how those principles apply," Whelan said. Kelli Conlin of NARAL Pro-Choice New York said, "Obviously, judges in the mold of Thomas and Scalia are going to overturn [Roe]," adding, "We really feel like, out of the glare of the cameras, we have to sit down with him and his colleagues and ask, which is the real Rudy Giuliani?" Conlin said that Giuliani had included her on his transition team when he was elected mayor and released public statements to mark the anniversary of Roe (Cooper, New York Times, 11/17).