Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani, 107th Mayor

Opening Remarks to the N.A.R.A.L. "Champions of Choice" Lunch

The Yale Club, Thursday, April 5th, 2001

As Delivered


Thank you very much for inviting me to say a few words of welcome. This event shows that people of different political parties and different political thinking can unite in support of choice. In doing so, we are upholding a distinguished tradition that began in our city starting with the work of Margaret Sanger and the movement for reproductive freedom that began in the early decades of the 20th century.

As a Republican who supports a woman's right to choose, it is particularly an honor to be here. And I would like to explain, just for one moment, why I believe being in favor of choice is consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party. In fact, it might be more consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party. Because the Republican Party stands for the idea that you have to restore more freedom of choice, more opportunity, more opportunity for people to make their own choices rather than the government dictating those choices. Republicans stand for lower taxation because we believe that people can make better choices with their money than the government will make for them, and that ultimately frees the economy and produces more political freedom. We believe that, yes, government is important, but that the private sector is actually more important in solving our problems.

So it is consistent with that philosophy to believe that in the most personal and difficult choices that a woman has to make with regard to a pregnancy, those choices should be made based on that person's conscience and that person's way of thinking and feeling. The government shouldn't dictate that choice by making it a crime or making it illegal.

I think that's actually a much more consistent position. Many Republicans support that position, but you don't hear that as often. For example, in a recent poll by American Viewpoint, 65 percent of Republicans supported changing the plank in the Republican platform that calls for a constitutional ban on abortion. That's 6.5 out of every 10 Republicans. And over 80 percent of Republicans believe that the decision with regard to an abortion should be made by a woman, her doctor, and her family rather than dictated by the government.

[Applause]

In any case, I just wanted you to know that many of my fellow Republicans stand with you on this issue. So I thank you, I thank NARAL for taking the lead in establishing freedom of choice for all of us, and as the Mayor of New York City, I thank you for being here in New York City.

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