Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) -- In an interview with an Oregon newspaper, likely Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he supports states' decisions whether or not to allow assisted suicides. Kerry also appeared to disagree with an effort by President Bush to disallow federally controlled drugs to be used in suicides in the state.
Kerry said, "I think it's up to the states to decide" whether or not to legalize assisted suicide.
"It's a very complicated, thorny, moral, ethical issue that people wrestle with. And I don't think it's the government's job to step in," Kerry told the Salem Statesman Journal newspaper.
To Tom Marzen, a leading pro-life attorney who monitors end of life issues, Kerry is taking out of both sides of his mouth.
"As usual, it seems that Kerry wants a foot in both camps without firm footing in either," Marzen tells LifeNews.com. "First he says that assisted suicide is a matter for the states. Then he says the whole business is all-so-very-complex that the government shouldn't be involved at all."
Kerry's comments make it appear he disagrees with the Bush administration about the use of federally controlled drugs in assisted suicides in Oregon.
Citing the Controlled Substances Act, Attorney General John Ashcroft ruled last year that the drugs used in Oregon assisted suicides, all of which are federally regulated, can no longer be used. The state took the Bush administration to court over the decision and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule soon on the outcome of the case.
But, when asked whether he would direct his attorney general, if elected, to back off of Ashcroft's decision, Kerry refused to answer directly.
"I think the states have the right to wrestle with those kinds of issues," Kerry told the paper. "I have my own personal beliefs about life and about what you do."
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.