Thompson: Late-Term Abortion Is â€˜Infanticide,â€™ Roe v. Wade Worst Decision In Supreme Court History
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This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress
In statements made this week, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) has staked out several radical positions on abortion rights and reproductive health issues, positions that are far more conservative than even those of President Bush.
In an interview with the Hoover Institution, Thompson argued that Roe v. Wade is the most harmful decision in the history of the Supreme Court and should be overturned. Thompson called the decision "bad law" and "bad medicine," and appeared to agree with Robert Bork, the notorious far-right judge whose Supreme Court nomination was rejected, that Roe v. Wade contains "not a single sentence of legal reasoning."
Also, Thompson gave a video address yesterday at the National Right to Life conference, in which he equated late-term abortions with infanticide:
In 1994, I made my first run for the U.S. Senate. I was proud to receive the National Right to Life endorsement. I've been with you ever since. You've been with me ever since. On abortion related votes I've been 100 percent. We've had a lot of different kind of issues come up in the Senate from federal funding to stem cell research, Roe versus Wade and the partial birth abortion debate or as former Senator Pat Moynihan of New York used to say it's more like infanticide than partial birth abortion.
Watch Thompson's comments on Roe v. Wade (10:12):
Thompson's views are extreme and outside of the mainstream. According to a recent Gallup poll, just 35 percent of the American public agree that the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, which relied on a long line of precedent that established a fundamental right to privacy that includes personal decisions about whether to bear a child.
Late-term abortions, pilloried by the right as "partial birth abortion," are performed rarely and in most cases to preserve the health of the mother. Women and their doctors should be the ones to decide the best procedure. Thompson's comments imply that these women are deliberately killing infants and should be criminalized.
Amanda Terkel is Associate Editor for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.