Group Says It Hired Fred Thompson in Abortion Rights Bid – New York Times
July 9, 2007
Well, did anyone really think that a Hollywood actor would turn out to be a lifelong consistent big-“c”-Conservative who’s every position since he was weaned was perfectly aligned with every wish and dream of every registered Republican and independent? Of course not. The tragedy is that none of our candidates will ever be able to sincerely layout a meaningful platform they believe in and a philosophy to guide them through necessary compromises.
Former Senator Fred D. Thompson, who has positioned himself as an opponent of abortion rights as he prepares to run for president, was hired as a lobbyist 16 years ago by a group on the other side of the issue, according to documents and people involved with his hiring.
Spokesmen for Mr. Thompson have pointed to the fact that he voted in favor of every abortion restriction bill that came before him in the Senate. That included a ban on the procedure known as partial-birth abortion as well as a ban on government-financed abortion for defense department personnel. Mr. Thompson has said he opposed as an infringement on states’ rights the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
But Mr. Thompson has also sometimes indicated that he opposes outlawing abortion. Among other things, he has opposed a constitutional amendment banning all abortion — something the Republican platform calls for — again on the grounds that the issue should be up to the states.
In a questionnaire that he answered during his successful 1994 Senate campaign in Tennessee, Mr. Thompson or his campaign staff checked a box stating that he believed abortion should be legal under any circumstance during the first three months of a pregnancy. In a televised debate the same year, Mr. Thompson appeared to tell the moderator that he personally disagreed with outlawing abortion. “Should the government come in and criminalize let’s say a young girl and her parents and her doctor?” Mr. Thompson said. “I think not.”
In addition, the Gannett News Service has reported that another questionnaire submitted during Mr. Thompson’s 1994 campaign contained a handwritten note that stated: “I do not believe abortion should be criminalized. This battle will be won in the hearts and souls of the American people.”