CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Democratic presidential contender Wesley Clark (search) on Thursday sought to clarify his comments from a day earlier in which he told a Tennessee voter, "I don't believe in abortion."
"I would hope that it would be done only on rare occasions, but it's a woman's right to choose. It's a private matter and I support the Supreme Court. I support Roe v. Wade (search). And I support a woman's right to choose," Clark told reporters as he campaigned in the state.
The retired Army general created a stir in New Hampshire with a series of comments on abortion, telling a newspaper's editorial board that he was pro-choice and "life begins with a mother's decision."
Within days of those comments, Clark told reporters in New Hampshire that he supported a woman's right to have an abortion "as modified by" a 1992 court case that allows states to impose limited restrictions.
At the time, Kate Michelman, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America (search), said she was satisfied that Clark will be a candidate who supports abortions rights and would make abortion an issue against President Bush in the general election. An aide later added that the organization was "good to go with any of the Democratic candidates."
On Wednesday, a woman in Tennessee pressed Clark on how he felt about abortion, and he said, "I'm against abortion, but there's the law of the land and that comes from the Supreme Court and the law is called Roe v. Wade. And I support the Supreme Court. I have to support the law."
Clark continued, saying abortion "should be safe, legal and rare. And I think what you've got to do is you really have got to work with families and you really got to help people understand what their choices are and not do the wrong thing because I don't believe in abortion."