John Edwards and Abortion: The New ‘Southern Values?’

“Sen. Edwards has a 100% pro-choice…voting record in the U.S. Senate. He marked
the 30th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade
by stating, “The right to choose is not just about a woman’s privacy…
The right to choose is an essential ingredient in the full equality of women…
“Edwards’ pro-choice credentials strengthen the Democratic ticket.”
Gloria Feldt, President, Planned Parenthood
Tennessee Right to Life urges concerned pro-life citizens to become familiar with the real Edwards record on abortion. Despite much media attention to his ‘southern roots’ and ‘shared values,’ the Edwards record on abortion is among the worst of any sitting member of the United States Senate.

The Edwards Record on Abortion
In 1999 Edwards voted against Banning Partial-Birth Abortion.
S. 1692, 10/21/99, Roll Call 340
In 2003 Edwards attacked President Bush for signing the bill banning partial-birth abortions.
In 2003 Edwards voted against ‘Laci and Conner’s Law,’ also known as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which recognizes unborn children as murder victims if they are killed by criminals in violent federal crimes.
HR 1997, 3/25/04, Roll Call 63
In 2003 Edwards voted to endorse Roe v. Wade as “an important constitutional right…which should not be overturned.”
S 3, 3/12/03, Roll Call 48
In 1999 Edwards voted to include abortion as a ‘health benefit’ for federal employees.
S. 1282, 7/1/99, Roll Call 197
In 2001 Edwards voted to restrict the speech of pro-life and other citizen advocacy groups by imposing severe limits.
S. 27, 4/2/01, Roll Call 64
In 2003 Edwards voted to use government facilities for performing abortion.
S. 1050, 5/22/03, Roll Call 192
In 1999 Edwards voted against an effort to document the sale of “fetal tissue.”
S. 1692, 10/21/99, Roll Call 338
In addition, Edwards has consistently supported filibusters against President Bush’s pro-life judicial nominees. For example, Edwards voted six times in favor of the filibuster that blocked the confirmation of Miguel Estrada and in favor of the filibusters of pro-life Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen and former Alabama Attorney General, pro-life William Pryor, both nominated to federal courts of appeals.
From the John Kerry Website
“John Kerry believes that women have the right to control their own bodies, their own lives, and their own destinies. He believes that the Constitution protects their right to choose and to make their own decisions in consultation with their doctor, their conscience, and their God. He will defend this right as President. He recently announced he will support only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court.

From the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL)
“NARAL Pro-Choice America knows, based on John Kerry’s record in the U.S. Senate, and the positions he has articulated as a candidate for President, that Roe v. Wade would be safe in his hands if he is elected President. He is an unwavering supporter of a woman’s right to choose as well as the privacy rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
“We also know that based on everything George Bush has ever said or done about choice that Americans’ rights are in severe peril, and if he is president for four more years, women will lose the right to choose. His record of nominating the most vehemently anti-choice judges and his recess appointments of the most extreme anti-privacy judicial activists prove that President Bush will fulfill his promise to “do everything in my power to restrict abortion.”
From Planned Parenthood
“With the selection of John Edwards as his running mate, Sen. Kerry has again shown his complete commitment to reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care,” PPAF president Gloria Feldt said. “In stark contrast to the current administration, a Kerry-Edwards administration will stand up for the fundamental rights of women both in the United States and around the world and will ensure that women’s health is a centerpiece of its agenda.”
“Sen. Edwards has a 100% pro-choice, pro-family planning, pro-woman voting record in the U.S. Senate. He marked the 30th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade by stating, “The right to choose is not just about a woman’s privacy. It is also about a woman’s equality and her personal dignity – her inalienable right to stand as a proud and independent equal in our society. The right to choose is an essential ingredient in the full equality of women.”
“As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Edwards has been an influential voice of opposition against President Bush’s attacks on women’s rights and extremist nominations to the federal bench. During his term Edwards cast pro-choice votes on numerous pieces of legislation relating to reproductive health…”
From National Right to Life
“During his nearly six years in the U.S. Senate, John Edwards — like John Kerry — has consistently voted according to the dictates of hard-line pro-abortion groups, and contrary to policies favored by most Americans.” Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director.

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