Skip to comments.Giuliani gave to Planned Parenthood
Posted on 05/07/2007 5:25:31 PM PDT by madprof98
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the '90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country's leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.
Federal tax returns made public by the former New York mayor show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.
The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani's support for Planned Parenthood -- along with e-mailed copies of the returns -- was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.
Giuliani's old contributions could echo throughout the 2008 GOP nomination battle, as he seeks to lessen the political impact of his support for abortion rights -- an unpopular position among the social conservatives who in recent elections have weighed decisively in the primaries and caucuses. The issue was raised anew at last week's debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, when Giuliani gave a noncommittal answer to the question of whether it would be a good day for the country if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
"It'd be OK," Giuliani responded, adding that it would also be all right if the Supreme Court decided the other way.
On the campaign trail, Giuliani has a consistent mantra when the abortion issue comes up. "I'm against abortion. I hate it. I wish there never was an abortion, and I would counsel a woman to have an adoption instead of an abortion," Giuliani said last month in Columbia, S.C., in a typical comment.
He also frequently notes that, during his tenure as mayor, the number of abortions went down in New York City and that, as president, he would appoint "strict constructionist judges," a description meant to reassure social conservatives.
Asked how Giuliani could reconcile personal opposition to abortion with a contribution to Planned Parenthood, a Giuliani spokeswoman reiterated the former mayor's stump message and took what could be construed as a shot against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has recently become an opponent of abortion rights.
"Mayor Giuliani has been consistent in his position -- he is personally opposed to abortion, but at the same time he understands it is a personal and emotional decision that should ultimately be left up to the woman," said Maria Comella.
Comella added that, "from the start, Mayor Giuliani has been straight with the American people about where he stands on the issues and saying exactly what he thinks.
"Ultimately, this election is about leadership, and it's a sign of leadership to stand by your position in the face of political expediency."
Giuliani's bid will test how far an abortion-rights politician can advance within the GOP. Every Republican nominee since 1980 has opposed abortion.
Opposition researchers for other candidates hope to make Giuliani's life more difficult at regular intervals -- and to help them out, they have a trove of video clips and quotes from Giuliani's time in City Hall showing him to be a vocal advocate of abortion rights.
For example, in 2001, appearing at a NARAL/Pro-Choice America luncheon, he voiced the conservative case for abortion rights, arguing that it "might be more consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party.
"Because the Republican Party stands for the idea that you have to restore more freedom of choice, more opportunity, more opportunity for people to make their own choices rather than the government dictating those choices," said Giuliani.
Told of Giuliani's contributions to Planned Parenthood, Clemson University political science professor Dave Woodard said, "If he actually gave money to Planned Parenthood, boy, that puts him in a very precarious position, at least in the South Carolina Republican Party."
A Republican, Woodard noted that a personal contribution is something that is difficult to explain away to abortion opponents. "This isn't something like where your position is misunderstood," he said. "An overt act of giving money shows support for a position. That can't be a mistake or misinterpretation."
Merle Black, an Emory University political science professor and author, along with his brother, of a new book on American politics, "Divided America," agreed that the contributions would again push Giuliani "on the defensive" on the issue.
"He's got to change the subject or come up with much more effective answers than he had (at the debate)," said Black.
Still, Black noted that there are "a lot more issues" than just abortion and that Giuliani's strength on national security -- along with the enhanced importance of more moderate states like California, Florida, New York and New Jersey in the GOP primary process -- could lessen the social litmus test.
Amy Walter, a political analyst with the Cook Political Report who is set to take over The Hotline next month, said Giuliani's past contributions and current rhetoric could combine to make him look like an opportunist. The issue threatens to go to "the heart of what opponents of Giuliani are hoping to do, which is undermine him on his greatest strength, which is his credibility and leadership."
The effort, Walter said, is not just to portray him as "not conservative enough, but to try to chip away at the image of a leader and nonpolitician."
Spokesmen for Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain said their candidates have never donated to abortion-rights groups. (Romney gave to a Massachusetts anti-abortion-rights organization last year.)
Founded in New York City by Margaret Sanger in 1916, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has 860 locations around the country. In addition to providing abortions, the organization also provides birth control, emergency contraception, testing for STDs and other gynecological services.
In 2005, the last year for which a Planned Parenthood representative could provide statistics, the organization performed 264,943 abortions and distributed more than 1.2 million emergency contraception kits.
PING for the Giuliani file.
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
This could be the final nail in Rooty’s coffin.
That’d be OK.
Trying to buy the GOP Primary... $30 million
Giving to Planned Parenthood... $900
Aborting your own political career... PRICELESS!
I know, I’m all broken up about it.
What is “The Politico”??? The questions from the “debate” sounded like they came straight from DU!
I am still going to vote for Rudy if he is running against Hilliary or Barrack Hussein.
Well as JulieAnnie once described hmself, he`s a liberal Republican, so why is his support of baby slaughterhouses suprising?
Rudy could still make an excellent Attorney General within a GOP President’s administration. Most of the 10 GOP candidates for President along with Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich would also do well in a variety of cabinet positions if they aren’t the final choice for the GOP. I wouldn’t put John McCain anywhere in any GOP administration.
He is an accessory to murder with that donation.
That was a huge “WHOOPS!” on Giuliani’s part. While it doesn’t disqualfy him from conservative support, it definitely reflects badly on him. He has some serious explaining to do.
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