THOMPSON DEBATE ANSWER:
“MR. THOMPSON: Yeah, the young lady’s question is — (applause) — the — the young lady’s question is premised on if abortion becomes illegal. That presumes Roe versus Wade is overturned, which I think should be our number one focus right now. And that has to do with the kind of Supreme Court justices we put on the bench. (Applause.)
MR. THOMPSON: We should have — we got to — I’m getting there. I’m getting there.
That would mean that it goes back to the states, and then the states would have to outlaw it at an earlier stage than they outlaw it now. And then the question would be, who gets penalized and what should the penalty be? I think it should be fashioned along the same lines that it is now.
Most states have abortion laws that pertain — that — and — and prohibit abortion after viability. And it goes to the doctor performing the abortion, not the girl or the young girl or her parents, whomever it might be.
MR. COOPER: Time.
MR. THOMPSON: I think that same pattern needs to be followed. It could just be moved up earlier or much earlier in the process if the —
MR. COOPER: All right.
MR. THOMPSON: — if the state so determined.”
I was confused hearing this but understood this essentially to be a restatement of his states’ rights position. His campaign was concerned enough to put out this a few minutes ago:
“In tonight’s debate we saw once again that on abortion, Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice and Mitt Romney is multiple choice. I believe abortion should only be allowed in the instances of rape, incest and the life of the mother and penalties should be assessed against the abortion doctor and not the woman.”
I don’t think Thompson has ever said he would “only allow” abortion in those cases if states decided differently.
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