Richard Tisei: Pro-Abortion

There are 3 general positions on abortion: Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, and Pro-Abortion.  Richard Tisei consistently chooses door number 3.  Along with the most pro-abortion voting record, he cosponsors pro-abortion legislation, and uses his bully pulpit to further his pro-abortion agenda.  His support for abortion is clearly one of his top legislative priorities.

According to Project Vote Smart Sen. Tisei has received ratings of 100% from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, 100% from the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts Advocacy, and 0% from Massachusetts Citizens for Life.  

In the 2009-10 legislative session NARAL gave Tisei a rating more favorable rating than not only every other Republican in the senate, but 9 Democrats as well.  According to the 2008 NARAL Voter guide Tisei was the only Republican in Massachusetts they endorsed in 2008.

In 2005, Sen. Tisei co-sponsored an “emergency contraception bill” that was vetoed by Governor Romney.  In The Reading Advocate he wrote that “Overriding the governor’s veto of this bill was a priority of the Legislature.”

In 2007, Sen. Tisei co-sponsored the expanded buffer zone bill.  This bill bans our constitutionally protected freedom of speech within 35 feet of an abortion clinic and creates a 6 foot “buffer zone” around patients as well.


It is important to note that a candidate is required to be in 100% agreement with all of Planned Parenthood’s positions for them to consider you to be “pro-choice.”  99% is not good enough.

Scorecard Key      

Pro-choice 100%

Mixed 99% – 50%

Anti-choice 49% – 0%

About Mike "DD4RP" Rossettie


  1. would rather know how he stands on issues that he has the power to affect.

  2. I find that it is difficult to characterize one’s views based on abortion as it does not clearly cut as to which side involves more state power.  Do you have any insights into the Senator’s positions on issues that may allow for the differentiation between social liberalism versus social libertarianism.  

    Some areas of difference:

    Gun control: social liberals support; social libertarians would oppose.

    Affirmative action/reverse discrimination: social liberals support; social libertarians would oppose.

    Political Correct Speech:  social liberals support speech restrictions; social libertarians would oppose.

    IMHO: Weld was more of a social liberal than a social libertarian.  There are a lot of us in the libertarian camp that were not that happy with Weld’s positions.  That may also be a factor again if Baker/Tisei are really social liberals than social libertarians.


  3. How exactly do little old ladies praying the rosary constitute a public safety issue?

    It’s already illegal for anyone to harm or harass anyone on a public sidewalk–or anywhere else.

    The buffer zone is designed to prohibit peaceful protest near clinics.

    It’s designed to prohibit sidewalk counselors from trying to offer women social services to keep their babies, or educate them about adoption options.

    I would compare this to gun control in that only people who are already pre-disposed to obeying the law are impacted. Just as gun control laws don’t impact those who would illegally possess guns to commit crimes, the buffer zone impacts those who would peacefully protest–not those seeking to harm abortion clinic workers. Someone who is a violent psycho isn’t going to stop due to an imaginary line painted around a clinic.

    You can’t really argue it’s about public safety.

  4. These communist radicals pretending to be moderate republicans are more dangerous then communist radicals declaring themselves democrats.

    Let’s be clear, while fiscal issues are imperative to us all, social issues are more important! demographics aren’t working in our favor and time is just about up unless we elect REAL conservatives.

  5. Why would any Republican vote for Baker and Tisei for Governor and Lt. Governor or anything else? What would we get from those two that we wouldn’t get from your average crazy, left wing, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage Democrat?

    Doug Hoffman, move to Mass., please.  

  6. The fact that the supreme court has upheld buffer zones doesn’t make them good public policy. The Supreme Court very often makes bad decisions, such as the Kelo decision, or Roe v. Wade.

    This whole issue just shows how far out of the mainstream Tisei is. Many other “pro-choice” legislators voted against the buffer zone due to the free-speech considerations. For them, free speech rights are more important than making sure young women have abortions, and keeping planned parenthood in business.

    But Tisei is SO pro-abortion that he’s pro-big-government.

  7. As someone else stated very well, this issue is very, very important to some, myself included.  I will not vote for a pro choice candidate let alone someone as pro abortion as Tisei.  It’s a shame because I was planning on voting for Baker before this.  Baker just lost my vote, Tisei never had it.

  8. …by your definition?

  9. Sometimes reading RMG can be very predictable so you don’t even need to do it…this is a good example.  Social conservatives like the regulars on this thread taking Tisei to task for his abortion rights position.  

    Charlie’s calculation for picking Tisei is pretty simple:  social conservatives in Mass are losing relevance by the day.  Charlie has to see the same things all the regular readers of this site do: aside from posting about it on RMG, what are the social conservatives actually going to do about it?  The social cons talk a good game on this site, but never seem to actually do anything other than issue idle threats in frequent, lengthy blog posts.  Aside from a finely honed writing ability and some future cases of carple tunnel syndrome, that’s all the posting in here is going to get soc cons.

    I’ve been waiting for the first press release (or actual action) condemning this ticket from any of the social conservative groups:  MFI, Mass Citizens for Life, etc.  Haven’t seen any — happy to be corrected though if I missed something.  

    Fact is that Baker’s people could care less about the social conservative movement in this state.  If he had any respect for the political muscle folks from these groups often flex on this website, he wouldn’t have picked a guy to his left (and THAT isn’t easy to do).  Charlie and his team will spend this election courting independents and Democrats and assume the smell of blood in the water will be enough to get Republicans to the polls and in his column.

    Baker had plenty of somewhat conservative options to pick from (including many pro-life) but had his heart set on Tisei long ago.  Don’t let that “leak” of Brad/Karyn/Cruz on Friday fool you…Karyn was included to show they were looking at women, Brad out of respect…particularly since Karyn’s name was involved, and Cruz I’m not so sure, but suffice to say the decision was already made).  These “finalists” or other conservatives put forward on this site in the many LG discussions would have worked, but his pick of Tisei makes it pretty obvious that he doesn’t take any of the idle threats on this site from social conservatives seriously.  

    Quite frankly, I suspect Baker is looking forward to what he expects will be just enough flak (but no significant action of course) from the social right to solidify his social liberal credentials with Democrats and left leaning independents.  Baker figures maybe a few social cons stay home on election day as a result, but most turn out noses held…..and that’s a small price to pay for the votes he believes will win him this race.

    Will look forward to seeing whether this calculation wins him the race.

  10. …between the weasel word “pro-choice” and the term “pro-abortion”.

    That said, I have a real issue with self styled “counselors” who accost and harangue women on the sidewalk. They make it easy for the pro-abortion crowd to gratuitously describe pro-lifers as violent nut jobs. I would much prefer to see some of them get their teeth knocked out than to suffer a blanket prohibition of civil pro-life demonstrations (the “buffer zone”).    

    If Tisei’s position on buffer zones were strictly related to this sidewalk assault issue, then I could be swayed that it was simply making the best of a bad situation.

    But his being obviously pro-abortion gives me great concern about his fitness as a candidate on a Republican ticket.

  11. The buffer zone bill, which he cosponsored, clearly involves an increase in the size and scope of government on the behalf of being pro abortion.  This is not a libertarian position.

  12. Richard Tisei has an A+ rating with GOAL (Gun Owners Action League)

  13. I see your point on that but 35 feet does not strike me as unduly onerous.  There are similar requirements for polling places.  

    Clearer examples for me are those cases regarding whether gays can march in the St. Patrick Day parade (right of association) or hate crimes laws (differential punishments based on thought rather than action).  Also restrictions on the right to petition (onerous signature requirements), ballot access, campaign finance as far as the free speech end of things goes.  


  14. Tisei wouldn’t have 100% rating if he didn’t support that.  He wouldn’t be the only Republican they endorsed if he didn’t support that.

  15. No question where Tisei comes down on the abortion issue.  I was curious about where he comes down on other issues of interest to libertarians and liberals.    

  16. This one was on abortion.  I plan to do other posts as well.

  17. Why do we care?  

    Is abortion (whatever anyone’s thought on the issue) likely to be a big issue in the election or the administration of the victor?  I think not…It’s going to be jobs, business opportunity, education, revenue sources (and those screaming for more) and probably a few others.  

    Abortion for good or for ill is the status quo right now.  No Governor much less an LG is going to be able to shape the policy in any substantial direction (or change of direction) against an overwhelmingly one party system that is Beacon Hill.

    And at a lower level…this is a potential LG candidate.  I did a quick informal survey of my co-workers who a re pretty a-political…..over half didn’t even know who the LG is NOW, nevermind who the LG candidate is.

    I agree with some comments on another thread…this LG choice has sucked all the oxygen out of the room in recent days, I think those that are inclined should focus more on Brown’s senates race.  The DEMs will be riding momentum from what will be a highly publicized primary, and most voters won’t even know Brown is in the race.  I’d prefer to focus on that.

  18. The LG chairs the Governor’s Council which approves appointments including appointments to the SJC.  It’s his only constitutionally duty.  His views on the legality of buffer zones and other issues are arguably the most important thing for an LG.  Constitutional issues are arguably the only area he has to steer policy.

    Other people being ignorant doesn’t change that.  The bills legislators sponsor and how they vote matters.  If a politicians positions and actions on issues doesn’t matter, what does?

    Why do we care?  Well, maybe you don’t.  Some of us do.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sure and do more posts on his other positions as well including some of the issues you listed above.

    As for Scott Brown, I have and will continue to post here to help his candidacy.  I will continue to be a donor and volunteer of his campaign as well.  However, Scott Brown is not the only topic I will blog about here.  I will continue to cover other things, including Richard Tisei, as well.

  19. If you don’t view abortion as an important issue, than why would you want Tisei?  In his own words, he views these extreme pro-abortion measures as a “top legislative priority.”

    Tisei is a pro-abortion advocate.  

    Tisei sponsors these bills.

    Tisei actively campaigns for them.

    Tisei pushes for them by putting editorials in the paper.

    Tisei leaps across the isle to override Republican vetoes.

    If he becomes LG there is no reason for us to expect him to suddenly stop.  Being Pro-abortion is very important to him.  If you want a candidate who focuses on other issues, then pick someone else!  Tisei has and will continue to focus on furthering a left wing, pro-abortion agenda.

  20. Unless, of course, politicing for a new job while on the job and being paid by you and myself qualifies him as having done a great job. The anti tax thing was also overstated with Romney. All he did was raise my professional fees by 100%.

    Other than that I liked Romney.

  21. A few more posts like these and I will be left wondering who the actual democrats are in this race.  

  22. of where your relative youth is hurting your argument.  because you don’t have a personal political memory of the 2002 Governors race.

    If you don’t think Abortion can swing a Governors race, ask Governor Shannon O’Brien.  Tim Russerts (RIP) question on abortions for 16 year olds and her answer to it in the second debate with Romney destroyed her chances of being Governor.

    Specifically, Russert asked O’Brien if it made sense that in Massachusetts you had to be 18 to get a tattoo, but only 16 to get an Abortion. ( this was her famous “you want to see my tatoo” answer which later became a running joke.)

    More specifically, she couldn’t bring herself to say, under persistent questioning by Russert, that it was a bad thing for a 16 year old to get an abortion.

    She was so wed to the Planned Parenthood line of Abortion for All at All times, that she made herself look like an Pro-Abortion Radical (which, of course, she was).

    One colloquial story.  I recall eating breakfast the next day at a local diner with my father, and the guys who ate breakfast with us each morning where staunch Democrats, always ribbing me for being a Republican.  I vividly recall them discussing how much O’Brien’s answer bothered them.  How she lost their votes because of it! “Abortions for sixteen year olds?” one blurted over corned beef hash. These where men!

    This is Tisei’s problem.  It’s not that he’s pro-choice.  It’s that he’s Pro-Abortion.  He’s to the Left of Every other Republican in the Senate, and Nine Democrats.  That’s not a good place to be in a Pro-Life Party.

    The thing you need to understand, and will learn, is that on abortion, many folks default to “pro-choice” when they don’t really care about abortion.  It’s sounds nice, and they don’t want to be confrontation.  But, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, they want Abortion to be Safe, Legal, and RARE.  Being Pro-Abortion doesn’t make Abortion Rare, and that’s the problem.

    Pro-life people literally see it as a life and death issue, and actually vote for a candidate on that alone issue.  For Pro-Lifers, it can be a defining issue, and is a cross-over issue for many traditional Democratic Party voters to vote for a Republican candidate, especially Church-going Catholics, and Ethnic Union members (know any states with lot’s of those?).

    You’ve read a lot of books, and are no doubt a brilliant person, (and btw, I will be giving you a detailed response to your reply post in the other thread when I have a chance to write it out) but your vastly underestimating the passion that abortion garners, and the real impact it can have on a race, even in Massachusetts.

    Abortion wasn’t “an issue” in the 2002 race either.  Both candidates where “pro-choice”.  

    However, one candidates being Pro-Abortion stopped her from becoming Governor.

    Without a question on Abortion, there may not have been a Governor Romney, or a Romney 2012 campaign.

    Richard Tisei has 25 years of legislative votes to pick apart, and his position on abortion doesn’t appeal to any pro-lie voters, and on his record, he will turn-off pro-choice voters, just like Shannon O’Brien did in 2002, do to his Radical position on abortion.

  23. Just a point the US. Supreme Court has upheld buffer zones.  As with anything it is a balance between free speech and public safety.  I believe the court said a zone in the extreme would be violative but a limited one was not an undue restriction on free speech.  As such the court has upheld the Mass. law.  I respect disagreeing with it but it is Constitutional.

  24. Tisei is probably a lot more than pro-abortion, he’s probably pro-cloning and pro-genetic engineering to create embryos and future people.  You have to have a certain attitude about life, which forms all those positions to fit the attitude.  The attitude is “breeding is dirty and creates problems, we should get rid of our animal reproduction and replace it with something better, take control of it, as part of our great destiny to become Gods and perfect the planet and expand beyond it.”  Aka, Transhumanism.

    Not all abortion rights supporters are Transhumanists, but all same-sex marriage supporters are, and biotech stooges are.


    Check out the old posting for Tisei at

    There's nothing new about this guy. He's about as liberal as they make 'em.


  26. Answer:  Lower taxes, less corruption and a balanced budget that works.

  27. Who then do you consider a ‘real’ conservative?  

  28. Wow.  And I just registered to become a Republican.  So you are saying we have lost it on social issues (which we have) so we should give up on fiscal issues and taxes.

    I am a hard core Catholic.  I believe in being Christian and your headline was a not so subtle bigoted comment on Tisei’s sexuality.  As a Catholic, I am taught to love the sinner and hate the sin but I am also taught that only God will judge.

    If you are looking for real conservatives, get a time machine and go back to the 1950’s or move to Alabama.  

    We need Republicans who can win and help us to keep Mass. a two party state.

  29. It only applies to abortion clinics and is designed to regulate message.  As such, it violates freedom of speech.  It was first struck down by a district court judge based on that reason.  It was later upheld in the first circuit court of appeals (with exceptions) and has not made it to the Supreme Court yet.

    People keep saying that this has been upheld by the Supreme Court when it never has.  People keep repeating the same misinformation without doing their homework.  Stop it!

    There is nothing to be balanced here.  Under this law you could be sitting on a bench across the street from an abortion clinic and whisper the words “I respectfully disagree with abortion” and you would be in violation of the law.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  30. Madsen v. Women’s Health Center

    Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network

    Hill v. Colorado

    I may be missing your argument but aren’t these cases on point?

    Again, not trying to pick a side, but seems to me there has been US Supreme Court decisions on these matters.

  31. Wow. I just outed myself as an uninformed moron.  I didn’t know that Baker was pro choice too.  Just saw it now while looking up Tisei on  How disappointing.  Do I vote for the lesser of two pure evils or just stay home?

    After the whole thing about giving the governor interim appointment power for senate seats I started saying that MA is a lost cause.  I’m really losing hope very quickly now.

  32. There is a libertarian pro-choice position of non-government involvement.  

    There is a pro-abortion that puts the government actively on the side of abortion.  It includes such positions as support for buffer zones and government funding of Planned Parenthood.

  33. Real Republicans.  BTW, If Tisei were just liberal on one or two issues, that’s one thing. But he’s the G-D spokesman on these liberal issues.  It’s not only bad public policy, but it kills us with sensible people who just shake their head and walk away.  The more liberal the MA GOP has gotten, the more its ranks have thinned.

  34. My gut tells me Perry will buckle under pressure and cow tow to Baker,totally hypocritical to his principals in the book he wrote, hurting his support base. He talks the talk, let’s see him walk the walk.

    Then Evangelidis will do the same because he is looking for something. He has been fawning on Baker since before Baker was in the race, similar to Polito.

    Hedlund won’t, he has balls and will fight the good fight. A Ron Paul guy won’t give up that easy.

  35. I saw a homeless guy asking for money today… must have been a sidewalk investment banker.  

  36. on Bakers part. The momentum is clearly to the right on both fiscal and social issues. The base was getting all fired up about this cycle…witness the enthusiasm at the Plymouth County GOP Straw Poll. The Baker folks were all pissed off and annoyed at having to participate and it was clearly evident by the demeanor of the candidate and his operatives. I think they are making a huge strategic mistake here. We no longer want the corner office race to suck the life out of the Party. We KNOW that legislative seats are more important in the long run than the Governor’s seat and maybe we will sit this one out for Charlie if he dismisses us and takes us for granted. We will have plenty of candidates to work for and we can put our efforts behind a few strategic candidates and prove that conservatives can win. If the Baker campaign doesnt need us then we dont need to feel guilty about putting our full efforts, (and money) behind legislative candidates who are more aligned with our values. I think we will put significant action behind winning in 2010 but not for a candidate that neither respects nor appreciates our past loyalties.  

  37. genetic engineering your children, or trying to create them from artificial gametes:  libertarians need to recognize that this is a public safety issue, and not simply oppose a ban because they oppose bans.  Also, they should recognize that allowing it would also conflict with the goals of reducing government regulations and limiting entitlements.

  38. Waiting to see how Romney fairs with this one. Oh wait, he flipped and flopped on these issues too didn’t he ?  

  39. Are you serious?

    Do you really think there are candidates who meet all our criteria?  Each voter has to rank and yeah, we sometimes have to choose the lessor of two evils.

    Do you really want 4 more years of Deval Patrick and a Democrat controlled legislature.

    Abortion rights are not disappearing anytime soon in Mass. so if that is your most important decision in picking a candidate, move to the South because that battle is over in Mass.

    This election is about jobs, taxes, food, the economy, taxes (worth saying twice) and a system of checks and balances.  

  40. Tisei’s record as a legislator is one of voting against tax cuts.

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