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Margaret Carlson Headshot

Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, Agonizes Over Abortion

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I have nothing but sympathy for presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani when he tries to answer questions about abortion. I get lost in a thicket when I write about it, something I try to avoid doing, even when the Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on "partial birth'' abortion. I wrote about Paul Wolfowitz instead.

When pressed, I come down on the side of pro-choice. Yet I can't possibly be for partial birth abortion any more than I could line up with those pro-lifers who would stop us from using a zygote that's going to be discarded anyway for life-saving research.

Since he's running for president, Rudy doesn't have the option of not talking about abortion. It's the litmus test Republican candidates must clear to get nominated.

President George W. Bush declared himself against abortion during the campaign and then nominated two pro-life judges to the court after he was elected. Candidates Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush didn't do much about abortion once they were elected, but they sure talked a good game on the campaign trail.

Given this, it's amazing that Rudy, an Upper East Side moderate with a pro-choice record, remains the Republican frontrunner. If the smart money were right, abortion alone would have knocked him out of the race months ago and certainly last week after his performance at the first Republican debate.

Read the whole column here.