Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice, short and sweet. So why should pro-life Republicans support him for President? Because, while he supports a woman’s right to choose, he personally feels that abortion is the wrong choice.
Interestingly enough, Rudy has a solid anti-abortion record as a public official. While Mayor of New York City, Giuliani discouraged abortions and promoted alternatives like adoption. As a result, the NYC adoption rate rose 17% over the course of his two terms, while the NYC abortion rate dropped an equally impressive 17%. This was an even bigger decline than the nationwide drop of 14.8% during the same period. Most importantly of all, Medicaid funded abortions in NYC dropped by 23% during Giuliani’s administration. After Giuliani left office? The downward abortion trend upended as the pro-choice policy maker Mayor Bloomberg took the reins.
How else, other than promoting adoptions, did the Giuliani administration push down the abortion rate so effectively? Many attribute it to the atmosphere of hard work, accountability, and personal responsibility that Rudy’s policies fostered in New York City. As Mayor, he got 60% of New York’s welfare recipients off the rolls, and restored to them the dignity of self-sufficiency. He restored economic prosperity to the city by reducing the citizens’ tax burden by 20%. He re-energized the city’s education system (the largest in the nation), bringing in 13,000 new teachers and increasing school funding by $4 billion. He created a far brighter, far more hopeful atmosphere, slashing crime and homicides by 57% and 64%, respectively. All this led to a city where more people were taking responsibility for their actions, more people were thinking ahead and investing in their future, more people were educated and able to make better choices, and more people felt hopeful about the kind of world a child could be raised in. As a result of all these factors, tens of thousands of children who would have otherwise been terminated, had abortion rates continued at their pre-Giuliani rates, were not.
Giuliani, as a policy maker, has been strongly anti-abortion. So, how does that play out in the ballpark of the Presidency?
There are really only two ways in which a President has influence on the abortion issue.
1). Through the kind of Supreme Court nominees he or she would appoint.
2). Through the passing or vetoing of certain legislation that would come across his or her desk.
How would Giuliani, as President, handle these roles?
He would handle the Supreme Court nomination process by nominating strict constructionists with strong conservative backgrounds. As far as ideal Supreme Court nominees, Rudy has repeatedly named Roberts, Alito, and Scalia. The next President of the United States will likely have the opportunity to nominate two Supreme Court justices. Two more constructionist judges would tip the scales of the Court to conservative, and open the door for Roe v. Wade to be overturned for the first time in decades.
But let’s be realistic about Roe v. Wade. The overturning of Roe v. Wade does not mean the criminalization of abortion in America. It merely throws the abortion issue back to each of the individual states to decide. This federalist system is exactly the way Giuliani would prefer (and exactly the way the father of American conservatism, Barry Goldwater, preferred it).
Secondly, on all the key pieces of legislation, Rudy remains staunchly anti-abortion. For instance, Rudy is in favor of the Hyde Amendment, which severely restricts federal funding for abortion, and he is also in favor of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. There can be no doubt that if those laws come across his desk as President, he will uphold them.
So, basically, how would a President Giuliani operate on the abortion issue? The same exact way all the previous Republican Presidents have operated: He would nominate more Robertses, Alitos, and Scalias to the Supreme Court, he would keep partial birth abortion illegal, and he would keep tax-payer dollars out of abortion clinics.
The abortion issue is a non-issue when it comes to Rudy Giuliani.
The real question is, then: Why not just nominate someone who stamps themself simply “pro-life,” without delving into the intricacies of it?
Because abortion is not the only issue we elect our President on. Elections are about choosing the candidate who can most efficiently solve the core problems in how our government works. And when the full range of issues is taken into account–the size and scope of government, taxes and fiscal management, the strength of our national defense, our posture on the international stage, the health care, education, and Social Security systems, the energy crisis–Rudy Giuliani is the candidate most qualified to take on the job.
Giuliani is the best guy for the office, and pro-lifers should not feel that they are sacrificing the abortion issue for the sake of all the others. They’re not. President Giuliani will reduce abortions, nominate conservative judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, and keep all the reasonable restrictions upon them that we now have. But a Democrat won’t.