Democratic Senator John Kerry's recent remark that ''life begins at conception" poses a contradiction with his political decisions, say ethicists and advocates on both sides of the abortion and stem-cell debates.
Kerry has clearly stated on several occasions that, while he personally opposes abortion, he would not impose his personal views as a senator or as president.
However, he took the issue one step further July 4, while in Dubuque, Iowa, when he said he personally believes life begins at conception.
''I oppose abortion, personally," Kerry said. ''I don't like abortion. I believe life begins at conception.
“But I don't take my Catholic beliefs, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant, on a Jew, or an atheist, who doesn't share it,” he continued. “We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."
The Boston Globe explored the implications of Kerry’s recent statement in a report, July 18.
The Globe reported that Kerry’s remark upset stem-cell scientists, many of whom support Kerry because of the Democrats' seemingly more supportive stance toward embryonic stem-cell research.
Some analysts said Kerry’s comments make him seem like a “flip-flopper.”
Jack Marshall, president of ProEthics, told the Globe that Kerry’s comment isn’t just about “fence-walking or waffling.”
“What Kerry is doing is stating a core belief on what life is and then vocally advocating a contrary point of view," he said.
Pro-lifers have pointed out the contradiction in Kerry’s remark as well.
“John Kerry's belief that life begins at conception and his support of pro-abortion legislation shows that killing babies is okay with Kerry," Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America told the Globe.
While some abortion advocates are concerned about Kerry's comment, they have noted Kerry’s longtime support of abortion rights in the U.S. Senate.