Ramesh Ponnuru reports that Rudy Giuliani was a hit at the Club for Growth meeting. Somewhat off topic, Congressman Trent Franks confronted Giuliani on abortion. Giuliani’s refusal to flip flop was apparently well received by the crowd.
It seems that Giuliani also told Franks that he did not think the government should put someone in jail for (I’m quoting Ponnuru’s summary, not Giuliani’s actual words) “making a decision of conscience with which he disagreed.” Giuliani has frequently framed in the issue in this manner when confronted about abortion in the past.
Now, I can understand Giuliani’s thinking about matters of conscience even if I disagree. But I think pro-lifers would do well to clarify one practical point: the major legislation advanced by the mainstream pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade has not imposed jail sentences on women seeking abortions. Pro-lifers have frequently backed legislation (including the partial-birth abortion ban Giuliani now supports) that would impose jail terms on abortionists, however.
That doesn’t settle the argument, of course. (Abortionists are also “making a decision of conscience”; one could also argue that the logic of the pro-life position — and the actual views of some hardline pro-lifers — suggest women should be jailed.) But it does, I think, frame it somewhat more accurately.