Giuliani joins GOP praise for abortion decision

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), who in the past has supported a woman’s right to a form of late-term abortion, Wednesday joined in the chorus of Republican presidential candidates hailing the Supreme Court decision upholding the ban of the procedure.

“The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion,” Giuliani said in a statement on the 5–4 decision. “I agree with it.”

When Giuliani ran for Senate in 2000, he said he would not vote to restrict a woman’s right to undergo the procedure.

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Now, with social conservatives believed to be a major factor in the GOP primary, Giuliani joined the other top-tier Republicans in applauding the court’s ruling.

“Today, our nation’s highest court reaffirmed the value of life in America by upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said. “This decision represents a step forward in protecting the weakest and most innocent among us.”

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) hailed the decision as “a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary.” The senator added that the ruling also “speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict-constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures.”

Democratic candidates condemned the decision.

“I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women,” Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said. “As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient.”

Former North Carolina senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards also said he strongly disagrees with the “hard right turn” by the Supreme Court, adding that the move serves as a “stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election.”

“Too much is at stake — starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman’s right to choose,” Edwards said.