John Guardiano writes of Rudy Giuliani: “Practically and operationally speaking, Rudy is pro-life.”
This is simply an exercise in self-projection. Giuliani’s description of his views on abortion is that he is “pro-choice,” with the added comment that he doesn’t actually favor abortions over births. There is abundant evidence that Giuliani is practically and operationally pro-choice — i.e., his past endorsement of partial-birth abortion, his own donations to Planned Parenthood, and his support for public funding for abortions, including in New York City:
There is no evidence that Giuliani is pro-life in practical terms. The only fact that Guardiano points to is some evidence that abortions went down during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor of NYC. Two points come to mind: first, that’s pretty thin gruel when one considers that 41 percent of New York City pregnancies end in abortion. Second, which Giuliani policy led to the decrease in abortions? Guardiano doesn’t suggest a possibility. If Giuliani did implement any policy designed to reduce abortions in the city, it wasn’t particularly successful, because, according to Ramesh Ponnuru, the rate of abortions in the city fell more slowly than the state average.
Lastly, Guardiano claims that Giuliani’s pledge to nominate pro-life judges makes him effectively pro-life. Granted, appointing judges is the most important aspect of the presidency relative to pro-life politics. Yet is worth considering how trustworthy that pledge in light of Giuliani’s apparent misunderstanding of the importance of the pro-life cause to many conservatives.
This and Guardiano’s other pro-Giuliani arguments are exactly in line with the kinds of justifications of Giuliani’s stance on abortion that some Republicans advanced in 2007 and 2008. Ramesh Ponnuru effectively countered all of them in 2008, and there’s nothing new since then to undermine Ponnuru’s analysis. I would strongly recommend his piece to anyone confused about Giuliani’s record or platform.
There are many reasons to think that Giuliani would make an effective president and that he has a basically right-wing outlook. That doesn’t mean, though, that he is in any meaningful sense pro-life or that he would advance the pro-life political cause — he’s not and he wouldn’t.