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What Ted Said

From Sen. Kennedy, Abortion, and the Party of the Little Guy:

In 1971, just two years before Roe v. Wade, Sen Kennedy responded to a man named Tom Dennelly of Great Neck, N.Y. who had written to the senator expressing his views on the matter of abortion. Here is how Kennedy responded: “While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.” And he went on: “when history looks back at this era it should recognize this generation as the one which cared for human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.”


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    Yep, back when Dems were pro-life and a true liberal party–Pre-McGovern.

    Jesse Jackson and many others were also pro-life back when.

    Henry "Scoop" Jackson was a liberal anti-communist and author of The Jackson Amendment.

    Ronald Reagan once said that he was a liberal and everyone laughed.

    There was nobility in Kennedy to be sure.

  2. Perhaps Kennedy felt guilty about Mary Jo Kopechne and was either motivated by a belief in the sacredness of life or wanted to drag those who believed in choice, or who had had abortions, down with him.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    The phrase "drag … down with him" couldn't have a better fit.

    Except, of course, that Ted was able to swim back up to the surface – quite literally at Chappaquidick; metaphorically in the decades after.

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