Talk-radio scoop: Gardner says his abortion position is same as Archbishop Chaput

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner Flip Flops

When Rep. Cory Gardner dumped his longstanding support of the Personhood amendment two weeks ago, reporters failed to tell us about Gardner's new position on abortion.

It turns out, Gardner now holds the same abortion stance as Archbishop Charles Chaput, who left Denver for a Vatican post in Philadelphia in 2011.

That's what Gardner told KFKA (Greeley) talk-show hosts Tom Lucero and Devon Lentz March 27. They get the intrepid-talk-show-host prize for being the first to ask Gardner the logical follow up to his March 21 bombshell about ditching personhood:

LUCERO:  So, Cory, has your position on life changed, or just your position on – with regards to the Personhood initiative?

GARDNER:  Yeah.  I mean, if you look at my record, it still is a pro-life record.  And many pro-lifers in Colorado, including Congressman Bob Schaffer, the Archbishop Chaput of the Catholic Diocese, hold the same position.

LENTZ:  So, it’s really, it’s more along the lines, if I’m understanding correctly, on what contraception is available for women, not – not abortion — for being abortion– it’s just more having the choice of birth control itself.

GARDNER:  Well, that’s one of the consequences that we looked at in terms of contraception, but this issue [personhood] is, I think, a settled issue in Colorado and something that pro-lifers – you know, like I respect peoples’ difference of opinion on this, and I think there are a lot of differences of opinions on this, but I happen to agree that, with the things that I have learned, that I did something that was the right position to take.

So what does this tell us about Gardner's newly minted abortion views?

The Vatican, along with Catholic Bishops, like Chaput, support the personhood concept, with life beginning at conception. They oppose all abortion, even for rape and incest.

But, as Gardner said, Chaput did not back the personhood amendment. I couldn't find Chaput's specific explanation for his opposition to the personhood initiative.

A decade ago, Chaput himself wrote, in describing church teachings, that Roe v. Wade is a "poorly reasoned mistake" and "abortion is wrong in all cases, even rape and incest." (News Release, "CFJ: Many See the Anti-Religious Implications of Dem Questions on Pryor," July 3, 2003").

Vatican watchers will undoubtedly recall that Chaput directed Catholics to vote according to their faith, and he called abortion a "foundational issue" that's not open to debate.

On his "AM Colorado" show last week, Lucero also asked Gardner for "a little more insight" into his decision to abandon personhood:

LUCERO: You got a little bit of heat this last week in an interview you had with The Denver Post. Give our listeners a little more insight into what you were trying to tell them over at The Denver Post. 

GARDNER:  Well, you know, if you look at my position as a pro-life member of Congress, if you look what we did four years ago during the 2009, 2010 run up to the election [inaudible] the number of initiatives on the ballot, I had stated then that I supported an initiative known as the Personhood initiative.  But since that time, I have done a lot of work, done a lot of studying, and learned that that is actually something that many pro-lifers agree, could ban contraception and is a step back for the pro-life effort.  And I believe the voters of Colorado have spoken –that they said ‘no’ to this on multiple occasions, and we ought to be working together on common goals that we can achieve, instead of fighting over a separate issue.

Interestingly, in August, before Gardner flipped on personhood, former CO Republican Chair Dick Wadhams cited Chaput as a model for a GOP candidate–as someone who is both "pro-life" but anti-personhood amendment. Wadhams said at the time that a pro-life candidate who embraces the personhood amendment can't win in a statewide election.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Cool, they should run Archbishop Chaput then.

    Pro "life at conception" means pro personhood. Period. Time to own it, Cory.

  2. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    He left the tea party people the same way after they were no longer beneficial to his career.  This has nothing to do with personhood and everything to do with a double dealing swindler running to the middle. 

    He dosen't want to win a Senate seat to do anything; he wants to do anything to win a Senate seat.  The man is disgusting.

  3. dwyer says:

    This issue is totally political, not religious, IMHO.  I can read the article in which Chaput explains why he is not in favor of the personhood AMENDMENT, even thought he absolutely supports catholic doctrine that life begins at conception.  The article is dated February 8,2008.  I have a link but the link does not work on my server.  If one googles "Chaput and personhood" one can get the article entitled: "Catholic Conference does not back personhood amendment."  Here is the link that  may or may not work:


    Now, each side appears to be confusing the issue for political reasons of for other reasons that I do not understand.

    1) All supporters of the Personhood amendment believe that life begins at conception.

    2) All people who are pro-life  do not necessarily support the Personhood amendment.

    3) Therefore, one can be pro-life and not support the personhood amendment.

    I think that was chaput's's position.

    However, I don't think it is fair to argue, as Garnder's evidentally does, that he does not support the Personhood amendment because he believes in contraception, but he still pro-life.  This is not chaput position.  Chaput did not support the personhood amendment, but he also does not support any contraceptin.

    Garder should be more specific in his pro-life position; for example – pro-life, with exception for the life of the mother, incest and rape; and either for or against contraception that prevents implantation.

    It seems to me that the other side insists that being pro-life means you must support the various personhood amendments. This is either a political position or a positon that is ignorant of the many nuances in the pro-life position. 



    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Good recap, Dwyer. Spot on.  And just because Chaput and I both believe hungry people should be fed doesn't make me 'the same' as Chaput – and it clearly doesn't make Gardner just like Chaput.  Let's start describing this movement in its proper context:  they're not pro-life, they're pro-birth.

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