Vote 2005

George has it both ways on abortion

George Galloway never tires of telling conservative religious voters that he is against abortion.

‘I have religious beliefs and try to live by them,’ Galloway tells me. ‘I have all my life been against abortion and against euthanasia… I am not surprised if my position on these issues strikes a chord.’

So why did he write to The Guardian last June:

I am not opposed to a woman’s right to choose and neither is the Respect coalition…

Now Galloway may be personally against abortion. But if he is “not opposed to a woman’s right to choose,” doesn’t that make him pro-choice? Or is he trying to have it both ways: assuring conservative Muslims that he shares their abhorrence of abortion, while signaling to his secular leftist supporters that he’s really on their side?

Here in the US a lot of people who personally oppose abortion, and who would never choose it for themselves or advocate it for others, nevertheless oppose efforts to prevent others from choosing it. Quite rightly they are labeled pro-choice. So how does Galloway get away with calling himself anti-abortion?