2016 Elections and Abortion

DNC Platform on Abortion:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.

RNC Platform on Abortion:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.

…Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Here are the leading contenders in both parties:

Mrs. Hillary Clinton (D):

During the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas this past October, Hillary Clinton said that Republicans and their sympathizers say, ‘You can’t have paid leave, you can’t provide health care.’ She then went on to conclude: “They don’t mind having big government to interfere with a woman’s right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They’re fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of it.” Mrs. Clinton is pro-choice.

Mr. Bernie Sanders (D):

Bernie Sanders believes in protecting a woman’s right to choose and has a lifetime pro-choice record. He co-sponsored the 1993 Freedom of Choice Act, which aimed to bar states from restricting the right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability or at any time when a termination is necessary to protect the health of a woman. He said in April of 2012, “We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family and physician to make, not the government.”

Mr. Donald Trump (R):

Donald Trump declared that he was pro-life after years of being pro-choice. He changed his view to pro-life based upon personal stories. He wants to fight Obama Care abortion funding. In 1999 Mr. Trump favored abortion rights, but respected those in opposition to abortion. The following year he said that he was pro-choice, but supported a ban on partial birth abortions.  He has now said that he pro-life.

Dr. Ben Carson (R):

Dr. Ben Carson stated in a Meet the Press interview in October that he would love to see Roe v. Wade overturned. During the same interview, he states that the hypothetical choice between the health of the mother and the health of the baby is extraordinarily rare. However, he believes there is room for discussion when the question does come up. He does not believe that one should kill a baby that is the result of rape or incest. Not only is he personally against abortion, he thinks we should be vocal about it. When Dr. Carson was a Democrat, he didn’t believe this. He was personally against abortion as a Democrat, but was not for causing anyone else to do anything about it. He changed because, “I began to think about it, if abolitionists a long time ago had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to,’ where would we be today.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R):

Senator Ted Cruz has been relentless about defunding Planned Parenthood. He is openly appalled by the selling of human body parts by the organization and has made it very clear. He has worked hard at making sure a vote made it to the senate floor. He supports prosecuting Planned Parenthood for criminal violations. He desires a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion and partial birth abortion. He called the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion a “dark anniversary”. He has not said if he will work to overturn it.

Senator Marco Rubio (R):

Senator Marco Rubio believes abortion is a complex issue. During an August, 2015 interview with Meet the Press, Senator Rubio said, “This is a difficult question. But when asked to make a decision between two very hard circumstances (life of the baby and the mother’s choice), I’ve personally reached the conclusion if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life. I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions.” He is not straightforward about a rape/incest exception. He would ban abortion after 20 weeks.  He is pro-life but understands that a woman’s right is the law. He would require ultrasounds before performing abortions, vote against stem cell research, and give legal protection to unborn children. He supports the prohibition of federal funding for abortion.

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