I have been entrusted with public service for more than 25 years. It’s a responsibility I have honored and a trust that I believe I have kept. During those years I have not thought of myself as a public servant of some of the people, but a keeper of the public trust for all the people. If I become US attorney general, I again commit to enforcing the law, all of the law for all of the people. As a man of faith I take my word and my integrity seriously. So when I swear to uphold the law I will keep my oath, so help me God.
The son of a Pentecostal minister and a champion of the religious right, Ashcroft believes that abortion is wrong in nearly all cases. Indeed, his dozens of votes and proclamations seeking to severely restrict abortion-first as attorney general and governor of Missouri, then as a U.S. senator-have been a hallmark of his career, his record shows.
Ashcroft makes no excuses for his passionate views on abortion, decrying the politics of moderation. “I don’t apologize for being unyielding when I speak on behalf of a balanced budget or in opposition to big government or in favor of protecting the lives of unborn children,” he wrote in his 1999 autobiography.
His critics depict Ashcroft as an extremist. The liberal People for the American Way group has attacked Ashcroft for supporting a ban on abortions even in cases of rape or incest. The group said that his call to pass a constitutional “human rights amendment”--defining human life as beginning at the point of “fertilization”-- could outlaw common forms of contraception, such as the pill and IUDs. He also has opposed requiring federal health insurance plans to cover prescription contraceptives.
As senator, he tried to get the Constitution amended to outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
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