What do the Republican Candidates Believe About Abortion?
Y= Supports Roe v Wade | N= Does not support Roe V Wade
Donald Trump: N*
Donald Trump’s Big Evolution On Abortion Not Big Enough For Abortion Foes
The first time Donald Trump dipped his toe into presidential politics, his relatively moderate tone on abortion was cast as an advantage. Fifteen years later, it’s a major liability. Despite an apparent change of heart on the issue a few years ago, many in the anti-abortion movement don’t buy that the billionaire who once described himself as having “pro-choice instincts” will do everything he can to end abortion.
“There are a lot of folks that distrust where Trump stands on life because of his track record and even his recent vacillations on Planned Parenthood,” Lila Rose, a prominent anti-abortion activist, told TPM.
With Trump’s past public comments on abortion, simply labeling himself as “pro-life” now is not enough for the anti-abortion community. It’s not just the typical jockeying in the White House race that is riling abortion foes, but a potential government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding comes this fall with a push for a national 20-week abortion ban to follow.
“Absolutely there is a demand for concrete promises,” Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, told TPM. “People want to see a road map.”
Back in 1999 when Trump was floating a potential presidential run from within the Reform Party, he described himself as pro-choice with reservations.
His support of abortion rights was framed as an appeal to conservatives who wanted to put social issues aside to focus on an economic message. Trump’s supporters painted his chief political rival Pat Buchanan an “an anti-abortion extremist,” while Trump himself called Buchanan’s social conservative views “prehistoric.”
Trump said then that he hated “the concept of abortion,” yet he still opposed the partial birth abortion ban, which later became law and was upheld by the Supreme Court.
**“I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people discuss the subject,” he told Meet The Press in 1999. “But you still — I just believe in choice.”
Trump’s switch on the issue came in 2011, when he was flirting with running for president in 2012. He declared his anti-abortion stance at CPAC, the annual DC confab of conservative political activists, and later elaborated that his change of heart was motivated by a friend whose wife thought about an abortion but later went through with the pregnancy.
“They ended up for some reason, amazingly, through luck because they didn’t have the right timing, he ends up having the baby, and the baby is the apple of his eye. He said, it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him,” Trump said on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“And you know, here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life. And I heard this, and some other stories, and I am pro-life.”
The evolution nonetheless has been looked upon with suspicion by the anti-abortion movement. In an 2011 MSNBC interview, Trump struggled with a question about the constitutional rationale behind abortion rights and could not see the connection privacy rights had to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
His confusion prompted alarm among those in the anti-abortion community.
“Trump’s response to the question makes it appear he needs to study up on the abortion debate if he wants his pro-life conversion to be taken seriously as the creation of the fictitious right to privacy is the hallmark of the Roe decision and one of the chief objections pro-life advocates have to it,” LifeNews.com, an anti-abortion website, said.
The debate over abortion has taken a new turn with an anti-abortion campaign against Planned Parenthood over videos that purport to show the reproductive health organization is profiting from the harvesting of tissue from aborted fetuses.
When he was asked whether Planned Parenthood funding should be blocked over the videos, Trump told CNN he would look at “the good aspects” of the organization because he was “sure they do some things properly and good and that are good for women.”
The comment earned swift condemnation from the top anti-abortion organizations as well as from other GOP 2016 contenders.
Carly Fiorina accused Trump of “taking the Democrat Party’s talking points” on Planned Parenthood.
Trump took a harder line on Planned Parenthood in a Meet the Press interview Sunday — saying that clinics needed to stop offering abortions — but stopped short of endorsing a possible government shutdown over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, a campaign for which GOP 2016ers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are leading the charge.
“Moving forward, there can’t be any room for ambiguity,” Quigley said.
Additionally, Trump has said he supported exemptions to abortion bans in the cases of rape, incest and life the mother. Here, too, lies trouble ahead for Trump.
“It just portrays a lack of deep thoughtfulness on the matter,” Rose said, with other GOP 2016ers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) taking a hard line on exemptions.
Abortion foes stress that Trump’s not the nominee yet, and that they’re paying attention to all the major GOP candidates. And as Trump explains it, it’s not so much that he has changed his mind on this issue but he is only now beginning to truly articulate his views.
“As a real estate developer and as what turned out to be a world class businessman based on what I’ve done, you don’t ask questions about, ‘Gee, are you pro-choice? Are you pro-life?’ Trump told Meet The Press. “It’s just something that is not really discussed. As a politician, they discuss it all the time.”
That excuse alone is not going to be good enough.
“He really prides on himself on being frank and being a straight talker,” Quigley said. “But this is an issue where he has not been very clear and his position is still very cloudy.”
Donald Trump on Abortion:
I have evolved on abortion issue, like Reagan evolved
Q: In 1999, you said you were “very pro- choice.” Even supporting partial-birth abortion.
TRUMP: I’ve evolved on many issues over the years. And you know who else has? Is Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let [that quoted excerpt] run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I’ve very much evolved. And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015
Ban late abortions; exceptions for rape, incest or health
What does Donald Trump believe? Social Issues: Abortion should be limited.
Describing himself as “pro-life,” Trump told Bloomberg News in January that he believes abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother. In 2011 he explained to the Christian Broadcasting Network that he had changed his mind on the issue. *In “The America We Deserve,” Trump then wrote that he supported a woman’s right to choose.
Source: PBS News Hour “2016 Candidate Stands” series , Jun 16, 2015
I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice
Donald Trump shocked attendees at the conservative CPAC conference in February when he declared himself pro-life after years of supporting the pro-abortion position. Several months ago, when questioned about his position, Trump responded by saying the public “would be surprised” by his stance and, in an interview with Laura Ingraham from Fox News leading up to the conference, Trump characterized himself as “pro-life” and he repeated that apparent reversal when he told the audience at CPAC, “I am pro-life” and pledged to fight for the reversal of ObamaCare, which contains abortion funding loopholes.
As the 2012 race intensifies, pro-life advocates must call upon Donald Trump to further explain his stand on important pro-life issues like Supreme Court nominations and repeal of the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law.
Source: Steven Ertelt in LifeNews.com , Apr 8, 2011
I changed my views to pro-life based on personal stories
Q: Evangelicals want to feel secure that they’re going to have a nominee that’s solid on those social issues.
A: “One thing about me, I’m a very honorable guy. I’m pro-life, but I changed my view a number of years ago. One of the primary reasons I changed [was] a friend of mine’s wife was pregnant, and he didn’t really want the baby. He was crying as he was telling me the story. He ends up having the baby and the baby is the apple of his eye. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. And you know here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life. And I heard this, and some other stories, and I am pro-life.
Q: So those stories did change you, they came around and changed you?
A: They changed me. Yeah, they changed my view as to that, absolutely.
Source: David Brody interview on CBN.com , Apr 8, 2011
I am pro-life; fight ObamaCare abortion funding
Billionaire Donald Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference that he’s thinking about running for president. His remarks drew lots of applause and cheers from the crowd, who will play a key role in grass-roots organizing for the eventual 2012 GOP presidential nominee. “I’m well acquainted with winning,” Trump said. “That’s what this country needs now.”
In his CPAC speech, Trump sounded many themes popular with Republican conservatives. “I am pro-life,” he said. “I am against gun control.”
And in one of his biggest applause lines, Trump vowed to end the nation’s health care law: “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for
Source: USA Today report on 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 10, 2011
*Pro-choice, but ban partial birth abortion
I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 31-32 , Jul 2, 2000
Favors abortion rights but respects opposition
**Trump clarified his views on abortion, saying he favors abortion rights, but respects those who oppose his position. “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors,” he said.
Source: Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press , Dec 2, 1999
- I have evolved on abortion issue, like Reagan evolved. (Aug 2015)
- Ban late abortions; exceptions for rape, incest or health. (Jun 2015)
- I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice. (Apr 2011)
- I changed my views to pro-life based on personal stories. (Apr 2011)
- I am pro-life; fight ObamaCare abortion funding. (Feb 2011)
- Pro-choice, but ban partial birth abortion. (Jul 2000)
- Favors abortion rights but respects opposition. (Dec 1999)
Click on image to enlarge.
Ted Cruz: N
Cruz at the center of battle over abortion and a possible government shutdown
Planned Parenthood battle pits junior senator, Cornyn in GOP clash
Cruz and his supporters say they don’t want to wait until 2017 in the hope of sending a bill to a Republican president who will sign. Republicans, they say, need to make their stand now.
“Between now and the inauguration of the next president, Planned Parenthood will carry out more than 440,000 abortions,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for the conservative group Heritage Action for America. “The objective is not simply ‘to get a bill on President Obama’s desk.’ The primary objective is to defund this organization. Pro-life members should not be asked to cast a vote for a bill that sends money to Planned Parenthood.”…
Ted Cruz Blasts GOP Leaders For Funding Planned Parenthood
Sen Ted Cruz is excoriating the Republican leadership in the House and Senate for failing to “lift a finger to defend life” by eliminating taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Cruz’s speech on the Senate floor comes as the lawmakers voted, 77-19, to advance a bill to authorize government spending that includes funding for Planned Parenthood.
The 2016 Republican contender attempted to submit an amendment that would “restrict the use of Federal funds for Planned Parenthood Federation of America” as well as those to “implement the nuclear agreement with Iran or for assessed contributions to the United Nations until the President submits the agreement and all related materials to Congress…
We are about to “fund 100 percent of Planned Parenthood with taxpayer funding,” Cruz stormed, an organization under “multiple criminal investigations.”
“President Obama is absolutely committed to his objectives, and says if you don’t fund this organization, I will veto your bill and shut down the government,” Cruz fumed. “And Republican leadership surrenders: ‘We will fund Planned Parenthood.’”
Cruz charged that Obama “just has to utter word ‘shutdown’ and Republicans run to the hills.” The senator proceeded to review the similar scenarios that occurred with Obamacare, Obama’s executive amnesty, and the Iran deal.
“Republican leadership simply says, ‘OK’” to Obama, Cruz said…
Cruz observed the series of videos that were recently released about Planned Parenthood, exposing the abortion business’s practice of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale on the open market…
“I encourage every American to watch these videos,” he said, urging Americans, “Ask yourself, are these my values? “Is this what I believe?”…
From Ted Cruz.org
Without life, there is no liberty. And ensuring every child is born into a home with a loving family provides the best chance for that child to achieve anything. That is why Ted Cruz has been on the front lines defending life and standing up for marriage when it has come under assault from activist judges.
Led the charge on behalf of 13 states to successfully defend, before the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal law that bans one form of late-term abortion, the Partial Birth Abortion Act.
Advocated for an investigation into abortion practices in the U.S. to prevent the atrocities witnessed in Kermit Gosnell’s facility from ever happening again.
Joined 18 states in successfully defending the New Hampshire parental-notification law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Successfully defended in federal court Texas’s Rider 8, which prohibits state funds for groups that provide abortions.
Cruz: End Planned Parenthood funding
Accounting gimmicks can’t hide the fact that federal support ultimately pays for abortion.
Ted Cruz on Abortion
Companies can deny insuring birth control
Birth control: All the candidates agreed that companies should have the ability to deny women birth control coverage at their discretion.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate , Apr 16, 2012
Protect innocent human life with partial-birth ban
Ted Cruz has fought to protect innocent human life. He played a leading role in several important cases, including defense of the partial-birth abortion ban, parental consent laws, and prohibiting state funds from going to abortion. These cases have all been part of the ongoing effort to ensure that every child in America receives the protection and respect he or she deserves.
Ted successfully defended Texas’s Rider 8, which prohibits state funds for groups that provide abortions.
Source: Campaign website, www.tedcruz.org, “Issues” , Jul 17, 2011
Opposes public abortion funding.
Cruz opposes the CC Voters Guide question on abortion funding
Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: “Public funding of abortions”
Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q1a on Oct 31, 2012
Opposes churches providing birth control.
Cruz opposes the CC Voters Guide question on churches and contraception
Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: “Requiring religious groups to cover birth control & abortion in insurance”
Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q1d on Oct 31, 2012
Cruz: End Planned Parenthood funding
Accounting gimmicks can’t hide the fact that federal support ultimately pays for abortion.
It is mindboggling that any individual who has seen or knows the details of these videos could support continued taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. Yet still, the billion-dollar Planned Parenthood receives about 45% of its funding from government sources. ..
… For these reasons, I intend to lead the fight in the United States Senate to defund Planned Parenthood, even while investigations continue. The time for show votes is over. Funding the federal government does not require funding Planned Parenthood. But basic decency and our committment to the right to life does require that we stop taxpayer funding of abortions and any trade in baby parts…
Ben Carson: N*
Protecting Innocent Life
I am unabashedly and entirely pro-life. Human life begins at conception and innocent life must be protected.
As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I took the Hippocratic Oath to “First, Do No Harm.” My medical career was devoted to protecting and enhancing the lives of children and their families. Protecting innocent life is a duty consistent with that solemn oath.
As a surgeon, I have operated on infants pre-birth. I can assure you that they are very much alive.
My commitment to protect innocent life goes back decades. For years I have helped raise money for a wide spectrum of faith-based entities that assist expectant mothers with the birth of their child by providing a variety of valuable, pro-life services.
Ben Carson’s perplexing stance on abortion
The retired neurosurgeon says he’s pro-life. His record (and comments) don’t back that up.
Ben Carson’s presidential campaign is surging on a wave of support from socially conservative voters inspired by his passionate talk about faith and his attacks on Planned Parenthood. But while Carson insists he’s a fierce opponent of abortion, he also defends a long series of actions on the issue that are sharply at odds with the beliefs of the very voters fueling his rise.
**Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, has referred women to doctors who perform abortions, was a trustee of a foundation that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood, and his campaign struggles to articulate which legal restrictions he supports on the procedure.
Carson’s history on the issue is shaped by his medical background: Decisions he made decades ago — about referring women carrying fetuses with genetic defects to doctors willing to perform abortions, and conducting research using fetal tissue — came in the context of making complex medical decisions. But those are calls the candidate, who is running as ardently anti-abortion, stands by today, positions he argues are not out of step with being personally pro-life. And they are positions his communications director defended in an interview using language favored by advocates for abortion rights.
**“As a physician who does not believe in abortion, when faced with a patient who has severe medical problems, *I would refer someone for an abortion,” Carson told the Baltimore Sun in September of 1992. “I believe that person needs to hear both sides … I would never advocate it’s illegal for a person to get an abortion. I think in the long run we do a lot of harm when we bludgeon people.”…
Iowa conservatives should prepare themselves to hear a lot in the coming days about Ben Carson’s record on abortion…
**Carson’s opponents will be pointing out that in the early ’90s, the famous neurosurgeon referred patients to doctors for abortions, and that he publicly said at that time that he would “never advocate it’s illegal for a person to get an abortion.”…
As for his past positions on abortion itself, Carson told Yahoo News that he was “a fairly radical Democrat and had a different belief system” in the past…
“That has changed over the course of time,” he said, declaring himself to “favor life.”
But he still refused to say in that interview whether he thought Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law legalizing abortion, should be overturned.
This past Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Carson finally said that Roe should be overturned.
…Carson also has given conflicting answers lately about when life begins. He said in August it was “certainly once the heart starts beating.” But of late, he has changed his answer. On “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, he answered affirmatively when asked if life begins at conception…
John Kasich: N*
John Kasich Is No Moderate When It Comes to Abortion Rights
Unless a federal judge steps in, Cincinnati could become the largest metro area in the United States without access to abortion.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and Women’s Med Group in Dayton filed a lawsuit in an effort to keep that from happening.
…Kasich is no moderate when it comes to abortion rights. Back home in Ohio, he has consistently supported his Republican colleagues in the state legislature as they chip away at Roe. V Wade…
…Between them, the two clinics provide an estimated 5,800 abortions per year and a range of other reproductive-health services. The suit filed Tuesday asks a federal court to declare recent laws limiting access to abortion in Ohio unconstitutional…
…On June 30, Kasich signed into law a budget bill that includes yet another abortion restriction. The health department is now required to approve an application for a variance within 60 days. If the application is rejected or if the clock runs out, that clinic loses its license immediately and has no right to appeal. According to a recent editorial in the Toledo Blade, “The variances often take months to approve and are deliberately ignored by Ohio’s anti-choice health department.”
The two remaining providers in the southwestern part of the state know this waiting game well. A Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati and the Women’s Med clinic in Dayton have been granted variances, or exceptions, and depend on timely renewals to keep their doors open past this fall. If the Planned Parenthood clinic closes, Cincinnati will be the largest metropolitan area in the country without a surgical abortion provider. …
First on CNN: Kasich says he would sign bill banning abortion in cases of Down syndrome
Watch Jake Tapper’s interview with John Kasich on “State of the Union” Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
Washington (CNN) Ohio Gov. John Kasich told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that he would sign a bill currently being debated in his state banning abortion if the reason for the procedure is because the child would have Down syndrome.
“I would sign it, yes,” Kasich said. “Look, I’m a governor. I’m a CEO. I have to have a hand steady on the wheel. But in this case, I’m more than glad to say that of course I would sign that.”
Kasich, who opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the life of the mother, previously had not commented on the bill, saying he didn’t want to express his opinion while it was being debated in Ohio’s statehouse…
Kasich on Abortion:
On CNN, Dana Bash asked Ohio governor John Kasich about his opposition to abortion, and then about whether Marco Rubio and Scott Walker’s positions on the issue would make them unelectable.
BASH: And you know, because you were standing on the stage, two of your competitors, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, said they’re for no exceptions. [I am not sure it is true that Rubio has said he opposes life-of-the-mother exceptions.–RP] Does that make [them unelectable]?
KASICH: Look, I think, no matter what your position is on the issue, you have to respect for people. And I do. And it’s an issue that people have a right to have a different point of view. So…
BASH: Do you think that they would be – either would be electable against a Democrat supporting abortion with no exceptions? KASICH: Well, I think that it’s an important issue, but I think there’s many other issues that are really critical, early childhood, infant mortality, the environment, education. I think we focus too much on just one issue. And now that the issue of gay marriage is kind of off the table, we’re kind of down to one social issue, you know?
BASH: Well, but it’s one that matters to – in a lot of people’s lives.
KASICH: To a lot of people on both sides.
**On twitter, I pointed out that Kasich had said “we focus too much on” abortion when other issues, such as the environment, are “really critical.” This tweet led to some furious pushback from Kasich supporters who complained I was distorting what Kasich had said (even though what I said was accurate, and I linked to a CNN article with context). Some of them seemed to think that I was implying that Kasich cares more about the environment than the unborn, which I wasn’t. I was, well, quoting him, and he seems to think that we focus too much on abortion and not enough on other issues.
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