Fred Thompson on Abortion - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Fred Thompson on Abortion

Ramesh Ponnuru links to this item he wrote about Thompson in 2000:

The latest issue of NR includes a rundown of possible Bush running mates. In passing, it mentions that Senator Fred Thompson, the Tennessee Republican, has the drawback of being pro-choice. His office called today to say that Thompson is actually pro-life.

Thompson has certainly voted with pro-lifers almost all the time. The National Right to Life Committee counts votes for John McCain-style campaign-finance reform, which Thompson supports, as anti-pro-life votes, but otherwise he’s been solid. The senator voted against the Harkin amendment, which put the Senate on record favoring Roe v. Wade. But when Thompson ran for Senate in 1994, he did so as a supporter of legal abortion, as several press clips from the time pointed out. NR has also obtained a copy of a letter Thompson sent to a constituent in 1997, which notes that Thompson supports various restrictions on abortion but also includes the line, “I believe that government should not interfere with individual convictions and actions in this area.”

The upshot: Thompson is an ally of pro-lifers in all the actual fights that come up, but he’s not one of them on the core issue. Unless, that is, he has changed his mind, as suggested by his current self-description as a pro-lifer. In that case, NR would be more than happy to print a correction – and welcome him aboard.

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