Up until now, I have mostly resisted getting drawn into commenting on US politics. I still think I probably won’t do too many of these kinds of posts — I’ve always thought it was none of my business! But tell me, my fair readers, do you want me to talk more about all this?
I thought yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court upholding the ban on partial birth abortion would throw the upcoming presidential election into sharp relief, and I was right. Here’s what some of the candidates had to say:
- Hillary Clinton — “This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman’s right to choose and recognized the importance of women’s health. Today’s decision blatantly defies the Court’s recent decision in 2000 striking down a state partial-birth abortion law because of its failure to provide an exception for the health of the mother. As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account. It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.”
- Joe Biden — No comment yet.
- Chris Dodd — No comment yet.
- John Edwards — “I could not disagree more strongly with today’s Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake — starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman’s right to choose.”
- Mike Gravel — No comment yet.
- Dennis Kucinich — No comment yet.
- Barak Obama — “I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient. I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.”
- Sam Brownback — “I’m delighted that the Supreme Court is moving forward to see the expression of life in the Constitution. I hope that some day we’ll see all life respected at all stages and protected in this land and around the world.”
- John Cox — “Against abortion and for life without any exceptions. Life begins at conception.”
- Rudy Giuliani — “The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion. I agree with it.”
- Duncan Hunter — No comment yet.
- John McCain — “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life.”
- Ron Paul — No comment yet.
- Mitt Romney — “Today, our nation’s highest court reaffirmed the value of life in America by upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency. This decision represents a step forward in protecting the weakest and most innocent among us.”
- Tom Tancredo — “Congressman Tom Tancredo (R- CO) rejoiced over today’s Supreme Court decision, ending partial birth abortions. In these abortions, usually performed late in a pregnancy, the infant’s skull is crushed and extracted from the womb. Today the Supreme Court put an end to this barbaric practice of infanticide, Tancredo said. One can only hope this is the first step towards ending the tragedy of abortions. This ruling, won by a 5-4 margin, is the first major victory for pro-life activists since Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito were appointed to the Supreme Court. Both of them voted in the majority, along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy. Congressman Tancredo concluded by saying, ‘I am pleased the Court has finally begun to address the moral and intellectual travesty of Roe vs. Wade.’”
- Tommy Thompson — “I commend the United States Supreme Court for upholding the nation’s ban on partial-birth abortions. This decision sends a clear message that the United States values life and has no tolerance for this gruesome, abhorrent way to take a life. There is no place for partial-birth abortions in this country, and I am pleased the court upheld the law passed by Congress.”