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Inside Politics

Giuliani donations to Planned Parenthood surface

Story Highlights

• Republican candidate and ex-wife gave $900 in gifts to abortion provider
• Giuliani says he personally hates abortion, but Roe v. Wade is the law
• Planned Parenthood also gives information on abortion alternatives, he notes
• Donations were revealed in tax returns publicized by a rival campaign
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his former wife donated money to Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider, old tax records show.

The organization provides other medical services to women and also advocates for abortion rights.

Federal tax returns show that the Republican presidential candidate and his ex-wife, Donna Hanover, donated money to Planned Parenthood at least six times during the 1990s.

The donations were first reported Monday by the political Web site Politico.com, which said aides to a rival campaign e-mailed the tax returns.

Those returns, from Giuliani's tenure as mayor, had previously been made public, but the rival campaign aides, who insisted on not being identified, pointed out his support for Planned Parenthood, Politico.com said. The donations -- to the group's national, state and local organizations -- totaled $900, and the last was made in 1999, according to Politico.com.

Giuliani and Hanover separated in 2000 and divorced in 2002.

Tuesday, in an appearance on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's radio show, Giuliani said the donations were not inconsistent with his personal opposition to abortion because "Planned Parenthood makes information available" on other options available to pregnant women, including adoption.

"If there is going to be a choice, there are organizations that are going to give people information about that choice," he said. "I just as strongly support the idea that a woman should have information about adoption."

In addition to abortions, Planned Parenthood offers health and gynecological care, birth control, pregnancy testing, adoption information and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases at 860 affiliated health centers operating under its name, according to the group's Web site.

In 2005, about 265,000 abortion procedures were performed at Planned Parenthood facilities, about 3 percent of the patient services it provided that year, according to statistics posted on its site.

Giuliani's long-standing support of abortion rights has proved to be an obstacle for some religious conservatives in the GOP base, who play a key role in the process of picking presidential candidates.

The former mayor has said that while he personally "hates" abortion, he supports a woman's right to make that choice. However, he has expressed support for a federal ban on late-term abortions, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, and he has also vowed not to lift a ban on using federal money to pay for abortions for poor women, something he advocated as mayor.

During a candidates' debate last week in California, Giuliani said it would be "OK" with him if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. But he said "it would also be OK" if "strict constructionist" judges viewed Roe as precedent and upheld it.

"I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it," Giuliani said.

In a nod to social conservatives, Giuliani has said he would appoint "strict constructionists" to the federal bench who would interpret law rather than legislating from the bench -- something critics of Roe believe the Supreme Court did in deciding the case.

CNN correspondent Mary Snow contributed to this report.

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