Christine Stuart file photo
Tom Foley wins the Republican Primary in August (Christine Stuart file photo)

Republican Tom Foley is pro-choice, but he still received the first-ever gubernatorial endorsement from the Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee.

The group, which describes itself as “pro-family” and declined to endorse Foley in 2010 because of his “unwillingness to express support for the most basic of pro-family legislative goals,” decided to endorse the former Ambassador to Ireland this year.

So what changed?

Through a spokesman, Foley confirmed Wednesday that he has not changed his stance on a woman’s right to choose.

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the group, said they continue to have discussions with Foley about the issue of abortion and “it matters,” but it’s not an issue that’s likely to come up during the next four years.

The issue the group is most concerned about at the moment is assisted suicide or aid-in-dying. The legislation that would have allowed doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication for terminally ill patients was defeated this year in committee.

“Assisted suicide is THE life issue at the Capitol right now,” Wolfgang wrote in an email Wednesday. “FIC Action Committee won’t sit on the sidelines when the safety of Connecticut’s most vulnerable people is at stake.”

Hugh McQuaid file photo
Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut (Hugh McQuaid file photo)

In an email to supporters, the FIC Action Committee wrote about why they endorsed Foley, who spoke to the group in June and again on Aug. 26.

“Tom Foley has clarified to us that he opposes assisted suicide and would veto the assisted suicide bill,” the group wrote in an email. “Governor Malloy’s position on assisted suicide is ambiguous.”

Malloy didn’t take a position on the legislation this year and told reporters back in March that his support would depend upon the specific language lawmakers send him.

The Connecticut Democratic Party was giddy about the Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee’s endorsement of Foley Wednesday.

Rep. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, said Foley should repudiate the endorsement.

“What state does Mr. Foley think he’s running in?” Lesser said in an email. “The Family Institute’s agenda is so extreme that this endorsement will no doubt raise eyebrows across the spectrum.”