The following are the reactions of the United States presidential contenders to the April 18, 5-4 ruling by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the 2003 federal ban on partial-birth abortion.


Rudy Giuliani

The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial-birth abortion. I agree with it.

Sam Brownback

I’m delighted that the Supreme Court is moving forward to see the expression of life in the Constitution. I hope that some day we’ll see all life respected at all stages and protected in this land and around the world.

I am very pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortions. This ban was enacted to put an end to one of the most grotesque forms of abortion and it is completely in line with the respect for life that is at the very heart of our Constitution. This is a great step forward for our nation’s citizens, born and unborn.
I applaud the court for finding that the Constitution “expresses respect for the dignity of human life” and hope that this decision signals the court’s willingness to revisit and reverseRoe v. Wade.

John McCain

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures.  As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life.

Mitt Romney

Today, our nation’s highest court reaffirmed the value of life in America by upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency. This decision represents a step forward in protecting the weakest and most innocent among us.


Hillary Clinton

This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman’s right to choose and recognized the importance of women’s health. Today’s decision blatantly defies the court’s recent decision in 2000, striking down a state partial-birth abortion law because of its failure to provide an exception for the health of the mother. As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account.

It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

John Edwards

I could not disagree more strongly with today’s Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake – starting with, as the court made all too clear today, a woman’s right to choose.

Barack Obama

I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient.

I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.