GOP's Steele Clarifies His Abortion Comments

Thursday, 12 Mar 2009 03:47 PM

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WASHINGTON -- GOP national chairman Michael Steele says he's opposed to abortion and that Roe v. Wade should be repealed, commenting a day after a magazine quoted him as saying abortion was "an individual choice."

On Thursday morning, Mr. Steele issued a statement that read:

I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.

I tried to present why I am pro-life while recognizing that my mother had a “choice” before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro-life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did. In my view Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed. I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue.

But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.

Steele clarified his stance in a written statement after online publication of the interview with GQ magazine.

Steele, who is adopted, said in the interview that his mother had the option of getting an abortion or giving birth.

He said: "You can choose life, or you can choose abortion." He said his mother chose life.

Asked whether he thought women had the right to choose abortion, Steele said: "Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice."

Steele was elected chairman of the National Republican Committee in January. He describes himself as "pro-life."

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