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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

GOP field and reproductive rights

I told Tracy that I would chart out the current GOP field's position on abortion and reproductive rights.

Here is what I have come up with so far, in their own words if possible. I include their current CNN poll numbers.

Donald Trump - 18 percent

On Oct. 24, 1999, Trump told Meet the Press host Tim Russert, "I'm very pro-choice." When pressed whether he would oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion, he said, "I would—I am pro-choice in every respect, as far as it goes." Yet less than three months later, Trump was on record saying he would support a ban on partial-birth abortion. He actually made the switch immediately following the show.

On Jan. 16, 2000, Trump's new book was published, The America We Deserve. He discussed why he flipped on partial-birth abortion. Here is what he said: "When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion if I were president, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted with two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would indeed support a ban."

I’m pro-life and I have been pro-life,” Trump says. “It’s an issue and a strong issue.” 2015

Trump said he believes abortion should only be legal in the very rare cases when a woman is pregnant by rape or incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized by the pregnancy.

Jeb Bush - 15 percent

Bush supports the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would ban abortion after 20 weeks, making exceptions for the life of the mother, rape or incest.

Scott Walker - 10 percent

In his 2014 re-election campaign, running against Democrat Mary Burke, he released a TV ad in which he referred to legislation he signed that "leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor."

Signed Wisconsin bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.

Marco Rubio - 7 percent

Pronounced himself "pro-life but says that he understands fully that a woman's right to an abortion is the law."

"I am pro-life. As a state legislator, I supported various pieces of pro-life legislation that, among other things, would require doctors to perform ultrasounds before performing abortions and another bill that would ban the use of taxpayer dollars to fund stem cell research."2010

Ted Cruz - 6 percent

Cruz vehemently opposes abortion. On his Facebook page, he called Roe v. Wade a “dark anniversary” and wrote ”no right is more precious and fundamental than the right to life,” apparently including women’s individual rights. He did not say he would work to overturn the 1973 ruling, but he has supported bans on taxpayer money funding abortions and a Texas law that would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, which was ruled unconstitutional and is now being appealed.

Rand Paul - 6 percent

When asked whether there should be exemptions to anti-abortion laws, Paul replied, "Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she's OK with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when it's okay to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, get back to me."

Mike Huckabee - 5 percent

* I will stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. Taking this unequivocal stand includes fighting to defund Planned Parenthood.

* I will now, and will for the duration of my presidency, promote and sign all measures leading to Obamacare’s defunding, deauthorization, and repeal.

“Life begins at conception. This is not just a Biblical view — it is affirmed by modern science and every unique human DNA schedule, which is present at conception. Our value, and celebration, of every unique human life is the basic tenant of our freedom and should never be abandoned.”

Ben Carson - 4 percent

Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn't we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?

Chris Christie - 4 percent

Over the years he has been self-flagellating about his two years in public life as a defender of abortion rights, calling himself a previously “nonthinking pro-choice person. It was just kind of the default position that I took.”

His epiphany, he first explained a few years ago, came after a doctor’s visit in 1995 when his wife was pregnant.

“When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, Sarah, who is now 15, we happened to go to one of the prenatal visits at 13 weeks,” he told Piers Morgan, then of CNN, in 2011. “They put the Doppler on my wife’s abdomen, who didn’t look at all pregnant at that point, visibly. And we heard this incredibly strong heartbeat.”

“And I remember we came separately. She came from her job. I came from mine. We went back to work. And I was driving back to work, I said to myself, you know, as to my position on abortion, I would say that a week ago that wasn’t a life. And I heard that heartbeat. That’s a life. And it—it led to me having a real reflection on my position. And when I took time to reflect on it, I just said, you know what, I’m not comfortable with that anymore. That was back in 1995, and I’ve been pro-life ever since.”

John Kasich - 4 percent

[Kasich is] pro-life except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. He wouldn’t pick a pro-choice running mate or nominate pro-choice judges. He sees no point in discussing the abortion issue either. It doesn’t serve any purpose, he said. He can’t change his principles. Unlike other pro-lifers whose abortion position also bespeaks a divisive judgmental look at all citizens, [Kasich’s spokesman said], “you’ll never see him pounding on a podium screaming divisive rhetoric.”

-- CUTOFF --

Rick Perry - 3 percent

Rick Perry said he believes abortion should be legal only in cases involving rape or incest or when carrying a pregnancy to term would threaten the woman’s life.

Lindsey Graham - 2 percent

Sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the post 20 week abortion ban.

Bobby Jindal - 2 percent

Pro life - Offering contraception is dangerous federal overreach. (Jun 2014)

George Pataki - 2 percent

Was pro choice, flip flopped to pro life, now against partial birth abortions

Carly Fiorina - 1 percent

 "Liberals believe that flies are worth protecting, but the life of an unborn child is not."

Rick Santorum - 1 percent

“...and I believe that, that any doctor who performs an abortion--that--I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so. I don't--I've never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them. I believe that life is sacred...”

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