Rudolph W. Giuliani took another step toward running for president by filing a "statement of candidacy" with the Federal Election Commission, declaring his intent to seek the Republican nomination.
Appearing on Hannity and Colmes, Giuliani was asked about his position on abortion.
Giuliani: Where I stand on abortion is I oppose it, I don't like it, I hate it. I think abortion is something that as a personal matter I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that. And I think ultimately you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience and you have to respect the choice that somebody makesGiuliani's approach is a deliberate use of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo's 1984 "personally opposed" argument for the pro-choice position, an approach that was perfected by former President Bill Clinton (i.e., "safe, legal and rare") and regurgitated by Sen. John Kerry (i.e., "I'm pro-life") during his failed bid for the presidency.
Giuliani: What I do say to conservatives, because then you want to look at, ok, what can we look to that is similar to the way that we think. I think that the appointment of judges that I would make would be very similar if not exactly the same as the last two judges that were appointed.
Ramesh Ponnoru, in the Party of Death, comments,
The "personally opposed" stance had suffered from an obvious flaw: The only defensible basis for judging abortion immoral -- the conviction that it is usually the unjust taking of human life -- also seemed to be a reason to enact a general legal prohibition on it. "Personally opposed" seemed to be nothing more than an incantation designed to keep incontrovertible premises from leading to inconvenient conclusions. Cuomo did not really solve this problem, but threw up numerous smokescreens to obscure it.The statement "I hate abortion" is a judgment, a moral assertion that follows a rational presupposition that abortion is the killing of an unborn child. The fact that Giuliani is able to concede this point and yet fails to identify any moral compulsion to protect the life of a child indicates that his position is purely a political one (calculated and hypocritical) or that he has a warped sense of justice.
As anticipated, Giuliani also threw-up the vague
promise possibility that he would probably nominate judges similar to John Roberts and Samuel Alito. In light of his past accolades for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this argument is shallow and meaningless.
As conservatives consider Giuliani, there is much to be admired. He is a hero of 9/11, a noted federal prosecutor, and a two-term Republican mayor in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Yet, the seasoned leader and charismatic politician fails a fundamental litmus test and reveals a significant ethical short-coming in his assertion that a child within his or her mother's womb does not deserve protection and can be legally killed.
Updated: Thomistic asks, "Is his stance on judicial appointments enough to overcome his position that people should ultimately be allowed to "choose" to abort?"
No. Why would pro-lifers support a politician who does not recognize the fundamental right of the unborn to life? Giuliani's inadequate view of justice, revealed by his support for legal abortion, suggests he will also be delinquent in other areas. Further, his prior praise for Ginsburg indicates he is fully capable of nominating a similar judge.