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Abortion access


Should those concerned about
abortion vote Democrat or Republican?

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If you are concerned about the abortion rate, for whom should you vote?

Pro-lifers want to see a major reduction in the number of abortions performed annually. Some want to see a total elimination of all abortions, even those needed to prevent disability or death to the woman. The Republican Party's platform promotes the moderate pro-life agenda by increasing restrictions on the availability of abortions.

Pro-choicers also want to see a major reduction in the abortion rate. The Democratic Party's platform promotes this agenda, and has plans to lower the number of abortions indirectly by implementing programs to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

There are extensive references in the media to "pro-abortion" supporters. I have never met one. They may exist at for-profit abortion clinics, but are probably quite rare.


It is unclear whether the platform promoted by the Republican Party and its candidates would be more or less effective at reducing the total number of abortions when compared to the Democratic Party platform. It may be possible that Democratic control of the Congress and/or Presidency would result in fewer abortions then would occur under Republican control, because of their proposed programs to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies.

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Positions taken by various religious groups:

Most conservative religious groups, including:

bulletFundamentalist and other evangelical Christian para-church organizations like Focus on the Family Action, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, etc., and
bulletThe leadership of Eastern Orthodox churches, conservative Protestant denominations, conservative wings of Judaism, Islam and other religions, etc.

are tax exempt organizations, and thus cannot directly instruct their membership for whom to vote for without jeopardizing their tax status. However, they can and do try to persuade their followers to not vote for a pro-choice candidate and not vote for a party that promotes women's choice. This is generally interpreted as instructions to not vote Democrat.

Roman Catholic leaders take conflicting positions:

bulletSome teach a blanket prohibition against voting for any pro-choice candidate.
bulletOthers note that neither political party is willing to meet Catholic teachings by implementing a total ban on abortions -- including those rare abortions needed to save the life of the woman, or save her from permanent disability. Thus, they teach that Catholics are free to vote for the candidate who best reflects all the social teachings of the church, even if that candidate turns out to be pro-choice.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet1. Background: Who is a pro-lifer?  Past pro-life attempts to reduce abortions

bullet2. Republican Party's plans to reduce abortions
bullet2008 Republican party platform

bullet3. Democratic Party's plans to reduce abortions
bullet2008 Democratic party platform

bulletVoting by Roman Catholics

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Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2008-OCT-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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