Steve Forbes on Abortion

2000 Republican Primary Candidate for President


Would require his minor daughter to carry child to term

Forbes, who has five daughters, was asked what he would do if one of them became pregnant while a minor. Forbes responded that if his daughter was a minor under the law, “we will have that child brought to term.: If his daughter was over 18, ”You’re an adult. We would urge her to bring the baby to term.“
Source: Boston Globe on 2000 race, p. A24 , Jan 28, 2000

Recommends pledging pro-life platform, VP, & judges

FORBES [to Bush]: Let’s pretend George that you get the nomination in August. Would you make three pledges tonight? 1) Preserve the Ronald Reagan plank on life in the Republican platform? 2) State unequivocally that you’ll chose only pro-life judges? 3) Vow to pick a pro-life running mate?

BUSH: I’m going to pick a vice president who can be the president. I’ll pick judges who strictly interpret the constitution and not use the bench as a way to legislate. And I will work to keep the Republican Party pro-life.

FORBES: It’s a typical hedge. Where’s the pledge, not a hedge? Vagaries aren’t going to work. We need something specific.

BUSH: I will have a vice president who can become the president. That’s the test, Steve. I will have a vice president that agrees with my policy. I’m going to have a vice president that likes me. I can’t be any more clear -- you may not like the answer, but that’s my answer.

Source: (cross-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan , Jan 10, 2000

Dialogue to persuade instead of impose

Forbes said that he is opposed to abortion, but that Americans need to talk to each other about the subject. “We can’t impose views, we need to persuade,” he said.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21, “Political Notebook” , Nov 18, 1999

Ban partial birth, sex selection, & fetal tissue research

In this changing moral climate, now is the time to advance the abortion issue legislatively, step by step. We should start by banning partial birth abortions, a euphemism for infanticide. We should also ban abortions for the purpose of sex selection, ban fetal tissue research, and end all federal funding for abortion. I also support parental notification and consent in the case of minors. We must also work to end abortions in late pregnancy, unless the life of the mother is at stake.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 147 , Nov 9, 1999

Litmus test for Vice President

Forbes promised [in a speech to the Christian Coalition] to appoint anti-abortion judges and to select an anti-abortion vice president. “The front-runner will not promise to appoint pro-life judges, but I have and will,” Forbes said. “The front-runner won’t promise to appoint a pro-life running mate, but I have.”
Source: Boston Sunday Globe, p. A28 , Oct 3, 1999

Supports litmus test for Supreme Court appointments

On nominating pro-life Supreme Court justices: “I believe you should appoint justices on matter of principle. One of those principles is belief in the sanctity of life.”
Source: Associated Press on 2000 presidential race , Jun 14, 1999

Limit abortions via step-by-step laws

To change the [pro-abortion] culture, we must change the law little by little. We should start by banning partial birth abortions, a euphemism for infanticide. We should also ban abortions for the purpose of sex selection, ban fetal tissue research, and end all federal funding for abortion. I support parental notification & consent in the case of minors. We must also work to end abortions in late pregnancy. So where there is consensus on limiting abortions, let us codify. From there, let us persuade.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Moral Compass” , May 21, 1999

Life begins at conception; abortion leads to “extinction”

Today there is no doubt - medically, genetically - that individual human life begins at conception, and ends with natural death. The starting place for the discussion, then, is the recognition that abortion involves the violent ending of life - the first and foremost of our natural rights, the one that trumps all others. That is why abortions are a moral wrong and a national tragedy. As Lincoln said of slavery 140 years ago, abortion is and must be on the road to extinction.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Moral Compass” , May 21, 1999

Restrictions now; persuasion to make them disappear

I want to help make abortions disappear, where it’s just something that people don’t do unless it’s a real emergency. In a democracy, that can only happen if there’s a change of heart, a change of conscience. To move the issue forward, I would oppose abortions in late pregnancy, barring emergency. I’d oppose abortions for purposes of sex selection. I’d oppose mandatory government funding. I’d support parental notification. Beyond that, we have to persuade. We’ve got to do it one on one.
Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government , Nov 27, 1995

Other candidates on Abortion: Steve Forbes on other issues:
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
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Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
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George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
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Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021