Change Watch: John Kerry, Secretary of State

January 29, 2013

POSITION: Secretary of State

NOMINEE: John Kerry

Born: Aurora, Colorado, December 11, 1943.

Family: Second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, two daughters and three stepsons.

Occupation: Lt. Governor of MA 1982-1985; Senate 1985-present. Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 2009-present.

Education: Yale University (1966) and Boston College Law School.


On Roe v. Wade and promoting abortion

Kerry: “I respect their views [Catholic Bishops]. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views, but I disagree with them, as do many. I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith. I believe that choice, a woman's choice is between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that. Now I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade. The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he's tried to appoint to the court he wants to. I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.” Source: New York Times, Third Bush-Kerry Debate Transcript Oct. 13, 2004.

Supports using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortion

Q: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

Kerry: “I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now. First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic… But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment. Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise. That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for theUnited States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.” Source: Washington Post, Second Bush-Kerry Debate Transcript Oct. 8, 2004.

Rights of Conscience

Voted against the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act that would have protected employers’ rights of conscience from the HHS mandate.

On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Blunt Amdt. No. 1520 to S.Amdt.1730), Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, Roll Call 24, March 1, 2012. Source:

Parental Consent on issues of abortion

Voted against stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion: S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008. Source:

Voted against parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006. Source:

On taxpayer funding of abortion

Voted for increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation:  S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007. Source

Voted for increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million:  S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005. Source:

Supports subsidizing international abortion agencies

S.Amdt. 2719 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-319, September 6, 2007. Source:

Supports full funding for the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA)

(Evidence shows UNFPA subsidizes coercive abortions)

S. Amdt. 2708 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-320, September 6, 2007. Source:


Voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006. Source:

Opposes the Defense of Marriage Act:

Kerry: “My vote against [DOMA] -- which some predicted would cost me reelection in 1996 -- is among my proudest votes as a United States Senator…But my job in 2011 isn’t to feel good about my vote -- or to boast that fifteen years later, I’m vindicated when at last an American president now agrees that DOMA is unconstitutional.” Source: Boston Globe 

Voted in favor of the Federal Hate Crimes Act: 

Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007. Source:

Supports special rights for homosexuals

Kerry co-sponsored S.811 the so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2011.” Source:

Supports legislation that results in the shutting of Christian adoption agencies

Kerry co-sponsored S. 1770 in the 112th Congress which seeks to change the parameters of adoption placement so that agencies that continue to prioritize homes with a mother and father would be forced to close Source: Thomas

Supports redefining marriage and removing the ability of states to protect from redefinitions

Kerry co-sponsored S. 598 in the 112th Congress which seeks to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and redefine “spouse” for federal purposes. Source: Thomas


Kerry’s Top Ten Flip-Flops: Senate’s role in Iraq war, wartime funding, Israeli security fence, the Patriot Act, death penalty for terrorists, releasing strategic oil reserves, affirmative action, free trade, and No Child Left Behind. Source: CBS News

Kerry Insults U.S. Troops: Kerry told a California audience on Monday: "Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Source: Washington Post

Divisive Among Veterans: Following his service in Vietnam, John Kerry helped lead the controversial anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), a group that condemned America’s conduct in Indochina and who was seen by some veterans as serving pro-Viet Cong interests. According to FBI accounts, Kerry was present at a 1971 VVAW meeting in Kansas City where the assassination of politicians was discussed.

Source: Washington Post, also WorldNetDaily