Bill Weld on Abortion

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice Pres.; former GOP MA Governor; 2020 GOP Presidential Challenger


Long record of support for abortion rights

Weld supports abortion rights and has fought to protect them. As governor in 1991, he introduced a bill aiming to make it easier to get an abortion in Massachusetts.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , Apr 15, 2019

Remove anti-abortion language from GOP platform

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Supported abortion rights; moderate stance on social issues

As Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence square off in the only vice-presidential debate, there might be some curiosity about Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson's running mate Bill Weld. Weld, like Johnson, is a former Republican governor of a Democratic-leaning state. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, and in 1994 won reelection by 71% of the vote in the most one-sided result in Massachusetts electoral history. As governor, he repeatedly cut taxes, while supporting environmental issues, gay rights, and abortion rights.

Things would go downhill for Weld after resigning in 1997 after being nominated to be ambassador to Mexico by President Bill Clinton. His nomination would be stalled by conservative N.C. Senator Jesse Helms, who objected to Weld's moderate stance on social issues. Weld would later make a failed bid to unseat Democrat John Kerry in the 1996 U.S. Senate election, and in 2006, he unsuccessfully ran in New York as a gubernatorial candidate.

Source: International Business Times: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate , Oct 4, 2016

Clinic access is guarding a fundamental constitutional right

Q: States like Texas continuously put laws in place that restrict abortion services, as well as clinics. As a Libertarian, what do you view as the federal government's role in ensuring a woman's right to choose in every state?

WELD: I think it's OK for the government to be involved in ensuring clinic access, because that's guarding a fundamental constitutional right of the individual. So that's not the nanny state; that's good government, not bad government.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

OpEd: pro-choice stance means ineligible for ambassadorship

William Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts, ardent advocate of abortion rights, promoter of the militant homosexual agenda, and champion of liberalized drug laws, has been nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by President Clinton.

Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and staunch defender of faith, freedom and family, has refused, on the basis of Weld's record, to conduct a hearing on the nomination.

Weld has resigned the governor's seat to fight Helms over the nomination. The battle is being described as a struggle for the philosophical soul of the Republican Party. In announcing his resignation, Weld blasted Senator Helms, saying that his opposition to the nomination "has everything to do with the future of the Republican Party." Weld and his supporters have declared war on the pro-life, conservative mainstream of the Republican Party. [Sen. Helms won the battle and Gov. Weld was never appointed Ambassador].

Source: RNC For Life Op-Ed against Weld's ambassadorial nomination , Aug 11, 1997

Partial-birth abortion is terrible, but don't ban it

Source: RNC For Life Op-Ed against Weld's ambassadorial nomination , Aug 11, 1997

Pro-choice point of view is shared by the GOP majority

Believe me when I tell you Iím grateful for this opportunity to speak. Along with others, Iíve spent the last several weeks tussling with the powers that be so that the pro-choice point of view, ironically the point of view shared by the majority of all Republicans, can be heard.
Source: KERRY/WELD: DEAD HEAT, PBS.org , Sep 19, 1996

Pro-choice despite the Republican pro-life party platform

Neither Kerry nor Weld toes the partisan line. "In 1995, when every governor in the country was running away from affirmative action, Weld reaffirmed his commitment," said Kennedy School Lecturer in Public Policy Martin S. Linsky.

Weld also parts with many Republicans over abortion, drawing national media attention during the Republican National Convention for his pro-choice statements, in opposition to the party's platform.

Source: Harvard Crimson on Kerry/Weld debates , Sep 13, 1996

Support a womanís right to choose as an individual freedom

I happen to think that individual freedom should extend to a womanís right to choose. I want the government out of your pocketbook and your bedroom.
Source: KERRY/WELD: CLASH OF THE TITANS, PBS.org , Jun 5, 1996

Establish state pro-choice laws in case Roe gets overturned

Weld fears that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, may soon be overturned or drastically weakened. That's why he has introduced a bill to make getting an abortion easier in Massachusetts, and to eliminate an 1845 law that makes any kind of abortion a crime. He sets a good example for other states.

Some states, like New York, had laws permitting abortion before Roe; but in New Hampshire, the Governor has vetoed a bill to repeal a pre-Roe criminal abortion law. A national standard, like Roe, is thus preferable to uneven state laws. Women who could afford travel could go to states where abortion is legal. The poor would wind up with the back-alley abortionist.

Ideally, women's reproductive freedom will remain America's law and policy. But failing that, people will have to look to their state governments. Governor Weld offers an admirable example.

Source: N. Y. Times, "Governor Weld's Example" , Oct 5, 1991

Other candidates on Abortion: Bill Weld on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Bill Weld:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 25, 2020