Giuliani Declines To Discuss Role Of Religion In Shaping Views On Abortion

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani,who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, on Tuesdayduring a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, declined to answer questionsabout how religion has shaped his views on issues such as abortion, theAP/Boston Heraldreports. "My religious affiliation, my religious practices and thedegree to which I am a good or not so good Catholic, I prefer to leaveto the priests," Giuliani said, adding, "That would be a much betterway to discuss it. That's a personal discussion and they have a muchbetter sense of how good a Catholic I am or how bad a Catholic I am" (AP/Boston Herald, 8/7)

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Giuliani,who supports abortion rights, earlier this week said that if he iselected president, he will work to reduce abortions by increasingsupport for adoption services nationwide. Giuliani said that he wouldmake permanent a $10,000 tax credit for adoption expenses. He also saidhe would leave in place current restrictions that allow federal fundsto be used for abortions only in cases of rape, incest or when there isa threat to the life of the pregnant woman. In addition, he has pledgedto address the concerns of Republican voters who oppose abortionrights. "One of my commitments is that we will look for the commonground that people have in this whole issue, which is a very difficultone," Giuliani said. He added, "The common ground here is that I havealready a definable record of increasing adoptions and decreasingabortions. I would expand that nationally" (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/7).

According to the AP/Herald,the first questioner at a town-hall meeting on Tuesday cited PresidentBush's success in garnering the support of Catholic voters and askedGiuliani to explain his religious faith. "That's a matter of individualconscience," Giuliani said, adding, "I don't think there should be areligious test for public office." When asked later why he declined todiscuss his faith, Giuliani said, "I believe that things about mypersonal life should be discussed personally and privately," he said,adding that his personal life is relevant only to the extent that itwould affect his performance in office. Some Catholic Church officialshave proposed denying communion to presidential candidates who supportabortion rights, the AP/Herald reports (AP/Boston Herald, 8/7).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Women's Health Policy Report, search thearchives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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