Congressman Tom Ridge . . .
and the taking of human lives prior to birth
As a U.S. congressman, Pennsylvania's current governor established solid pro-abortion1 credentials. To emphasize this fact, a compilation very similar to the one presented here was published as a paid advertisement in the Altoona Mirror just prior to Ridge's May 8, 1998 speaking appearance at a benefit dinner for the Foundation for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The advertisement in the Mirror was entitled "Governor Ridge's Voting Record of Death."
When an Erie area March for Life delegation met with Congressman Ridge in Washington way back on January 23, 1984, Ridge displayed a -- to say the least -- peculiar attitude toward motherhood, as well as a "profoundly" pro-abortion bias. The March 1984 issue of the Erie Echo reports that after the marchers had shown him pictures of aborted babies Ridge retorted: "DOES GOVERNMENT HAVE A RIGHT TO FORCE A WOMAN TO BE AN INCUBATOR FOR NINE MONTHS FOR ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL?" And so, it seems there are two kinds of women out there, those who choose abortion for their unborn children... and "incubators."
What follows are questions addressed by various pieces of abortion related legislation during Ridge's time in Congress. Each question is followed by the response implicit in the vote he cast.
- 6/26/87 and 6/28/88 Should federal funds be used to pay for abortion on demand in the District of Columbia? YES NRL NEWS 7/16/87 p.8 and NRL NEWS 8/20/88 p.16
- 7/9/88 Should Medicaid pay for abortion on demand, not only for abortions "where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term"? YES NRL NEWS 7/26/88 p.7
- 6/22/89 Should the United States fund organizations that provide abortions in other countries"? YES NRL NEWS 1/22/90 pp.13-17
- 8/2/89 and 11/15/89 Should federal funds be used to pay for abortion on demand in the District of Columbia? YES NRL NEWS 1/22/90 pp.13-17
- 10/11/89 Should Medicaid pay for abortion on demand, not just abortions "where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term"? YES NRL NEWS 1/22/90 pp.13-17
- 10/25/89 Should President Bush's veto of the above measure be overridden? YES NRL NEWS 1/22/90 pp.13-17
- 8/3/90 Should U.S. military bases provide abortion on demand? YES NRL NEWS 1/8/91 pp.11-14
- 10/25/90 Should federal funds be used to pay for abortion on demand in the District of Columbia? YES NRL NEWS 1/8/91 pp.11-14
- 5/22/91 Should U.S. military bases provide abortion on demand? YES NRL NEWS 1/92 pp.12-20
- 6/12/91 Should United States taxpayers fund organizations that "perform and actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in foreign nations"? YES NRL NEWS 1/92 pp.12-20
- 7/25/91 Should the federal government (taxpayers) be required to fund experiments involving the transplantation of tissue from aborted babies? YES NRL NEWS 1/92 pp.12-20
- 11/6/91 Should routine counseling and referral for abortion, not necessarily provided by a physician, be required in clinics that receive federal "family planning" funds? YES NRL NEWS 1/92 pp.12-20
- 5/12/92 Should the federally funded Legal Services Corporation be in the business of suing and lobbying on behalf of abortion on demand? YES NRL NEWS 6/2/92 pp.14-15
- 5/28/92 Should the federal government be required to fund experiments involving the transplantation of tissue from aborted babies? YES NRL NEWS 6/2/92 pp.14-15
- 5/30/92 Should routine counseling and referral for abortion be required in clinics that receive federal "family planning" funds? YES NRL NEWS 5/12/92 pp.8-9
- 6/4/92 Should abortion be provided "in the same manner as any other medical care [sic]" on U.S. military bases? YES NRL NEWS 6/23/92 pp.18-19
- 6/23/92 Should President Bush's veto of a bill authorizing federal funds for research on fetal tissue from elective abortions be overridden? YES (Bush's veto was, nevertheless, sustained.)
- 3/25/93 Should federally funded family planning clinics be required to give 48 hour parental notification before a minor is subjected to abortion, except in cases of medical emergency? NO NRL NEWS 7/14/93 pp.10-11
- 6/16/93 Should U.S. taxpayers subsidize the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) despite its extensive involvement in the Chinese forced abortion program? YES NRL NEWS 7/14/93 pp.24-25
- 6/30/93 Should federal funding of abortion be permitted? YES (On this day, Ridge cast three separate votes against the measures by which the 1993 Hyde Amendment, was enacted into law.) NRL NEWS 7/14/93 pp.10-11
- 10/27/93 Should the District of Columbia be permitted to pay for abortions with so-called "local funding" supplied in part by United States taxpayers? YES NRL NEWS 11/5/93 pp.18-19
- 11/18/93 Should a substitute amendment that would have distinguished violent criminal activities from nonviolent civil disobedience be attached to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE)? NO NRL NEWS 12/7/93 pp.22-23
- 11/18/93 Should the infamous Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) -- which would have gone even farther than Roe v. Wade, nullifying such modest regulations on abortion as those contained in Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act -- be returned to committee or become the law of the land immediately? IMMEDIATELY NRL NEWS 12/7/93 pp.22-23
- 5/5/94 Should the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) be enacted? YES NRL NEWS 5/24/94 pp.22-23 (This federal law singles out pro-life activists for very severe penalties. It can even apply to peaceful demonstrators if they are merely perceived as a deterrent by someone seeking to enter an abortion facility.)
Praise from the Nation's Biggest
Abortion Service for Governor Tom Ridge
"After fourteen years of grassroots lobbying by family planning supporters, Pennsylvania has joined the rest of the nation in allocating state dollars towards preventive family planning services...Since 1981, Pennsylvania has been one of only
a few states that did not invest funds in contraceptive health services. Governor Tom
Ridge made good on his campaign pledge to support funding for comprehensive family planning services by including $2.03 million for 'women's medical services' in his first budget...(legislators) inserted language that could have prohibited medical providers like Planned Parenthood from responding to patients' requests for abortion information or referral... Governor Ridge removed the ...'gag rule' language before signing the final budget. Ridge noted that he was 'expressly withholding (his) approval of that language'." -- The newsletter of Planned Parenthood of the Susquehanna Valley
The Trouble with Ridge National Review, June 5, 2000
Ridge attacks pro-life plank in Republican platform Reuters, April 13, 2000 (Please compare statements in this story about Ridge's position on government funding for abortion and his congressional voting record which is displayed directly above.)
Ridge wishes GOP would drop anti-abortion stand Philadelphia Daily News / AP, April 15, 2000
Ridge says he opposes GOP plank on abortion Philadelphia Inquirer, April 14, 2000
1) Of course, no realistic distinction between the terms pro-choice and pro-abortion is possible. Support for the right to choose abortion is meaningless in the absence of support for abortion as a public institution. This entails a public policy which treats abortion as a routine medical procedure and the maintenance of a vast infrastructure of facilities and technicians capable of providing the service to all who choose it. And, as in the case of Congressman Ridge, this can also entail government funding and special government intervention to ensure that the abortion industry is insulated from community opposition.