A top surrogate and adviser to the Romney campaign recently addressed voters in Ohio, outlining that if the Republican presidential candidate is elected, Roe v. Wade will likely remain intact.
Norm Coleman is a former Minnesota senator and a professing pro-life leader. In his address to Jewish voters in Beechwood, Ohio this week, he told attendees that abortion is not the most important issue on Mitt Romney’s agenda.
“You’ve got to decide what’s important right now, what’s going to impact you right now,” Coleman said, who is also Jewish.
“The reality is that choice is an issue for a lot of people, a very important issue,” he said, in a statement that some say was meant to appeal to pro-choice women voters. “President Bush was president eight years; Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks; Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed.”
“It’s not going to be reversed,” he emphasized.
Coleman said that among Republicans, there are many different views regarding abortion.
“We have fights over the edges on that, parental notification, partial birth abortion, etcetera,” he said.
Coleman was responding to a question from a voter regarding “what he would say to voters who are worried about the influence of religious conservatives on the Republican Party.”
In an interview with the Associated Press yesterday regarding his statement, Coleman said that he was speaking from his own views regarding what will happen if Romney is elected. He outlined that he believes Roe v. Wade is longstanding precedent, and that overturning Roe will not be a priority for many, as arguments will rather center on various aspects of the procedure, rather than ending abortion completely.
Earlier this month, Mitt Romney reiterated to the Columbus Dispatch that he would like to see the Supreme Court hand the issue of abortion over to the states and have each decide whether it wants to keep abortion “legal” or not.
“It is my preference that would return to the states and to the people and their elected representatives the issue of abortion as opposed to having the federal government impose, the Supreme Court impose, its view on a one-vote majority,” he said.
His running mate, Paul Ryan, also outlined this position during the vice-presidential debate.
“We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination,” he said.
Other presidential candidates, such as Ron Paul, hold to a similar view of leaving the issue of abortion up the states, as they do not believe that abortion is a federal issue.
Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 by a Republican majority, which ruled that the Constitution does not include the unborn as being persons, and therefore, they may not receive equal protection.
“The Constitution does not define ‘person’ in so many words,” wrote Nixon appointee Harry Blackmun on behalf of the court. “[I]n nearly all these instances [where it is cited], the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.”
“All this, together with our observation that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn,” he continued. “In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”