Personally, I disagree with Giuliani on abortion. I am unhesitatingly pro-life, and I yearn for the Supreme Court to overturn the monstrous abomination of Roe v. Wade. Even so, whatever our distance from Giuliani on specific policies, we ought to recognize that he's far closer to the GOP mainstream than Clinton, Obama or any other Democrat, and that his mixed position -- anti-abortion and pro-choice -- actually correlates with the American majority.I'm not sure he's completely assessing Guiliani accurately. Need to do more DYOR, as do we all, I suppose.
The NRLC cheat-sheet needs updating, perhaps, but is still a good start:
Guiliani on Embryonic Stem Cell research: "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...I would support [embryonic stem cell research] with those limitations."
NOT really a pro-life statement. The embryos being created by IVF factories are still human lives, still being started and discarded, whether in trash bins or research labs. Justifying their "use" for research is soulless and inhumane as it still means they're being used. How would we feel if while still alive, our bodies were used for research without having any say in the matter?
Guiliani on Roe v. Wade: "The present state of the law on these issues is not something that I would seek to change." "[U]ltimately, since it is an issue of
conscience, I would respect a woman's right to make a different choice."
NOT a pro-life statement and clearly exactly what all the Democrats defend.
Guiliani on Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act: "I support the ban on partial-birth abortion...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."
NOT a pro-life statement in real life, but it plays one on TV.
Medved's oped piece is worth reading for the distinctions he does point out. Still, isn't it rather stating the obvious to say that if Guiliani becomes the Republican Presidential candidate, he's likely to be less pro-choice/pro-abortion than any Democrat?
What I found most interesting about this is Medved's blunt discussion of the monikers:
Candidates and voters should properly answer two questions about abortion:Where I believe Medved didn't do all the homework he could do is in quotes like these:
* Are you pro-abortion or anti-abortion?
* Are you pro-choice or anti-choice?
On this matrix, all the Democrats would count as both pro-choice and pro-abortion...On the other hand, nearly all the Republican candidates are both anti-abortion and anti-choice...Among the major candidates, only Giuliani stands in the middle: identifying a position that is, in fact, simultaneously anti-abortion and pro-choice. He backs policies designed to discourage or even sharply limit abortion, and he opposes the use of public money for abortions, while leaving final decisions to women and their doctors in most circumstances.
Polling data show that strong majorities of Americans share Giuliani's mixed position. They want to restrict abortion, but they don't want to outlaw it.I've seen enough polls that show folks might beg to differ.
An MSNBC vote on March 16, 2004 asked the question, "Do you think the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion should be overturned?" Of 10,716 responses, 71% said Yes. Of course, it's understood that overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn't outlaw abortion entirely (contrary to what NARAL, Planned Parenthood and N.O.W. have warned).
Here's another poll:
Fifty-one percent of the 3,329 women surveyed in June  wanted to either ban abortion totally or limit it to cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is endangered. Abortion should not be permitted at all, say 17 percent--an increase of 3 percentage points since 2001. Abortion should be curtailed for rare instances, say 34 percent--up from 31 percent two years ago. Those who favor abortion being made generally available dipped to 30 percent, down 4 points in two years.Chicago Sun-Times reported the findings of this opinion survey, which was "commissioned by former Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattleton."
Restrict or ban: a combined majority. Ban only: not a majority but increasing a notable 3% in a two-year period, while those who favor abortion's overall availability lost 4% of the vote.
I realize Medved was summarizing, but I can't help but wonder if he oughtn't have shed light on some of the specifics. In the 2000 Los Angeles Times poll, "Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that abortion should be illegal after the first trimester, with 65% opposing abortions in the second trimester." -Alissa J. Rubin, "Americans Narrowing Support for Abortions," Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2000.
The majority of Americans now do want to outlaw it, after the first semester.
Of course, there may be other polls in the same timeframes and since then which display different results. And it depends on how the questions are asked, using loaded words or not. It is true, however, that more and more such polls do show the 100%- or "mostly pro-life" respondents are increasingly in the majority.
While the following isn't solely abortion-specific, these straw polls do factor this issue in heavily. The pre-FRC conference poll (blogged here on PLB just a few posts before this one) presumably had Mitt Romney ahead of Mike Huckabee by a measly 30 votes (27.62% to Huckabee's 27.15%), and Guiliani at 1.85% of the votes. However, the "onsite" straw poll at FRC's conference just now put Huckabee at an overwhelming 51.26%, Romney at 10.40% and Guiliani at 6.30%. Quite a difference.
Maybe George Will ridiculed having a president named Huckabee, but maybe it isn't so farfetched after all. The more I hear him speak, the more I am impressed.
I'm not endorsing him just yet, I'm just saying, is all...
Cross-posted on Abortion Pundit