Huffpost Politics

Michael Steele: Abortion Is An "Individual Choice"

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UPDATE: Michael Steele has clarified his position on abortion in a statement:

"I am pro-life, always have been, always will be. I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a 'choice' before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did. In my view Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed. I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue. But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law."

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In an interview with GQ's Lisa DePaulo, Michael Steele declares that abortion is an "individual choice" -- a fairly startling policy position for the leader of the Republican Party. However, the impact is somewhat diminished by the fact that Steele seems to have no idea what he's talking about. The key passage:

L: How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your catholic faith, but by the fact that you were adopted?

M: Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that. I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it, uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

L: Explain that.

M: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

L: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

M: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.

L: You do?

M: Yeah. Absolutely.

L: Are you saying you don't want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

M: I think Roe v. Wade--as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

L: Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

M: The states should make that choice: that's what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

So abortion is an "individual choice," but it's not clear who counts as an individual -- women or just states.

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