Anti-abortion rights group holds back on new endorsement
DALLAS – Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson’s departure from the Republican presidential race has left the National Right to Life Coalition (NRLC), one of America’s leading anti-abortion rights organizations, wthout a candidate that has its seal of approval.
The group endorsed Thompson in November but says no decision has been made about whether to make another endorsement.
“We know what we don’t want. But we’re not sure if we are going to endorse at this point before the primaries are over,” the group’s political director Karen Cross told Reuters.
The group’s “nay list” is unsurprising all of the major Democratic candidates plus former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose support for abortion rights sets him apart from the rest of the socially conservative Republican field.
Cross said among the Republicans former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain were “all running as pro-life candidates” — implying that if one of them gets their party’s nomination he will almost certainly get the NRLC’s backing.
Abortion is a divisive issue in America and those who are most staunchly opposed to it tend to be religious conservatives — evangelical Protestant and Catholic but also Mormon, Jewish and other faiths.
The Democratic Party’s plank backs abortion rights while opposition to them is a key Republican plank — though many fiscal conservatives within the GOP are uncomfortable with that stance.
- Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Placards left in front of the Supreme Court after a march marking the 35th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision backing abortion rights.)