Tommy Thompson on Abortion

Former Secretary of H.H.S.; former Republican Governor (WI)

God-given rights begin at conception

Question 15. Do you believe that our natural God-given rights embodied in the Constitution begin at conception and continue until death?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire , Aug 13, 2012

Pro-choice GOP nominee problem for GOP platform

Q: Some columnists say one of the consequences--because of the mayor’s pro-life position--of a Giuliani victory would be to place the Republican nominee in direct conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. How big a problem is that?

THOMPSON: I think it’s a problem. I think it’s a problem not only for the Roman Catholic Church, but it’s a problem with the Constitution and the platform of the Republican Party. Every year the Republican Party, both at the state level in Iowa, and nationally, are parties that come out very avidly and passionately on being pro-life. And I think any candidate that’s pro-choice is going to have a difficulty with the party faithful and those individuals that have come to this district and the state and national meetings and have avowed time and time again that this party, the Republican Party, is a party of pro-life. So anybody that’s not pro-life is going to have difficulties. That’s the question.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

New stem cell research means embryos need not be destroyed

Q: Some researchers say the lines of embryonic stem cells that Pres. Bush has approved federal funding for are inadequate. Tell me why they’re wrong.

A: Embryonic stem cells, as well as adult stem cells, show great promise. The president set forth a policy about 72 embryonic lines that could be federally funded and could be used for research with federal funds.

Q: Researchers say there are not that many.

A: Well, there’s not that many. There’s 22 being used. There’s at least three more that have not been used. Some of them were not able to be viable, some of them were not able to have what we call pluripotency, and so they were not able to continue. But there is some tremendous new research, going on with amniotic fluids. There’s also some new research that says adult stem cells, if you do it the right way, will have the same characteristics as embryonic stem cells. So until this research is done, we do not have to destroy any more embryos. There’s enough lines right now.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina , May 15, 2007

Good day for America when Roe v. Wade is repealed

Q: Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?

ROMNEY: Absolutely.

BROWNBACK: It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.

GILMORE: Yes, it was wrongly decided.

HUCKABEE: Most certainly.



McCAIN: A repeal.

GIULIANI: It would be OK to repeal.

TANCREDO: After 40 million dead because we have aborted them in this country, that would be the greatest day in this country’s history when that, in fact, is overturned.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Right to abortion should be left to states

Q: Do you have any nuance on this? Or are you just happy with the repeal of Roe v. Wade?

A: I believe it should be left up to the states. That was what was originally implied, and the Constitution was changed when the Supreme Court made the decision. I have made a record of pro-life for a long time, signing the partial-birth abortion, pre-notification for parents and so on. I think it’s an important imperative that states have the responsibility for making these laws.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Pluripotent adult stem cells instead of embryonic stem cells

Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?

A: There’s so much research going on, to allow for adult stem cells to become pluripotent, which will have the same characteristics of embryonic stem cells, so you do not have to kill an embryo.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Both pro-life and pro-stem cell research

Several prominent conservative Republicans argue it is possible to be both “pro-life” and “pro-stem cell.” “Stem cell research facilitates life,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who studied the issue for two years before deciding to aggressively lobby the Bush administration. “Abortion destroys life; this is about saving lives.”

“The most pro-life position would be to help people who suffer from these maladies,” Hatch said. “That is far more ethical than just abandoning or discarding these embryonic stem cells.“ For politicians such as Hatch, a Mormon, the decision to break with many of their allies in the antiabortion community was closely tied to the enormous medical potential of embryonic stem cells to treat a wide range of debilitating conditions. Hatch is hardly alone. In recent days, the pro-stem cell contingent [has come to include HHS Secretary] Tommy Thompson, Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA.), and Sens. Zell Miller (D, GA), Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Source: Ceci Connolly, Washington Post, p. A01 , Jul 2, 2001

Legal abortion only for rape, incest, or mother’s health

Thompson has said that abortions should be legal only in cases where a woman’s life is endangered, or after a pregnancy resulting form rape or incest. As governor, he has used his power to increasingly restrict a woman’s right to choose.
Source: Phil Wilayto on MediaTransparency.com , Jan 1, 2001

Ban partial birth abortions

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Health Care” , Dec 25, 2000

Other candidates on Abortion: Tommy Thompson on other issues:
WI Gubernatorial:
Scott Walker
WI Senatorial:
Herbert Kohl
John Schiess
Mark Neumann
Ron Johnson
Tammy Baldwin

WI politicians

Retiring as of Jan. 2013:

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Page last updated: Oct 22, 2012