National Right to Life Committee on Thompson - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
National Right to Life Committee on Thompson

This morning, I cited reports being promoted by the pro-Romney blog Evangelicals for Mitt suggesting that Fred Thompson ran his two campaigns for Senate in Tennessee as a pro-choicer. Not so, National Right to Life executive co-director Darla St. Martin just told me.

St. Martin said that she went down to Tennessee in 1994 to speak with Thompson personally when he first ran for Senate, and that she determined he was against abortion.

"I interviewed him and on all of the questions I asked him, he opposed abortion," St. Martin said. She told me that the group went on to support him in that election, and his record reinforced for her that their determination was correct.

"He has a consistent voting record that is pro-life," she said.

On the NRLC website, they archive their congressional ratings back to 1997, so they include six of his eight years in the Senate. Thompson took the pro-life position on every vote he cast on the abortion issue. The only reason he didn't have a 100% rating is that, as Jim pointed out, the ratings also include votes on campaign finance reform, which he supported.

I specifically pressed her on the 1994 National Review story that read: "On abortion, both Thompson and Cooper are pro-choice. But Thompson favors parental notification, Cooper voted against it." I also asked her about the 1996 AP story mentioning Thompson's opposition to a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

St. Martin said she was skeptical of such media reports, because they can be wrong as was her experience with stories in 2000 that George W. Bush had been pro-choice. She reiterated the fact that she knows Thompson opposed abortion because of her conversation with him, and that was reinforced by his subsequent voting record.

No doubt, there will be new articles and video clips to come out should Thompson decide to run, publicizing any past pro-choice statements, and clearly Romney supporters have a vested interest in pointing to Thompson as another recent convert to the pro-life cause. However, it seems that Thompson's voting record is consistent enough, and dates back far enough, to satisfy the pro-life community. 

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