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The Right to Choose

Recognizing that abortion is a truly polarizing issue we hope to reach a compromise position, and to move this issue off of the national agenda. 

The right of adult women to choose to have an abortion in the first and most of the second trimesters is the law of the land based on the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and subsequent clarification in Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992). We support those decisions, despite disagreeing with the constitutional theory on which they were based. 

Public Funding of Abortions

We do not, however, believe that this right entails an obligation for federal, state, or local governments to subsidize abortion procedures and we oppose efforts to use tax dollars at all levels to subsidize abortions.  We would in general support candidates who support Roe v. Wade/Casey v. Planned Parenthood and who oppose public funding of abortions.

The Rights of Minors

We also do not believe that the constitutional right to an abortion extends to minors without their parents consent. Nor do we believe that minors have a constitutional right to obtain abortions without informing their parents. These issues were addressed in Casey v. Planned Parenthood and we support  the limitations on the rights of minors to an abortion spelled out in that decision. Casey v. Planned Parenthood supported the right of the state of Pennsylvania to require minors to obtain parental consent for an abortion.   The Pennsylvania law in question provided a workaround for the court to waive this requirement under certain circumstances.

Late Term Abortions

On the issue of  the right to a “Late Term Abortion,” which is also not protected by the Supreme Court's decision,  we will neither support nor oppose legislative efforts at the state level to restrict such abortions. We would oppose legislation at the federal level to either confer or deny the right to a "late term abortion." In the event that legislation is proposed to restrict late term abortions, at either the state or the federal level, we would support exemptions for the health of the pregnant woman.

On the whole, it is our preference that all of these subsidiary issues on abortion rights, such as the rights of minors and late term abortions, be resolved at the state level for the foreseeable future. We would therefore generally support candidates who also felt that these issues should be resolved at the state rather than the federal level, but we would be neutral toward their substantive positions on these issues.

Support for Programs Designed to Discourage Abortions

Although we accept Roe v. Wade, which prohibits using the coercive power of the state to ban abortions during the first two trimesters, we recognize the legitimate ethical concerns of those who oppose abortion. Because of this we believe that governments at all levels should take actions to reduce the incidence of abortion, such as efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy, subsidize prenatal medical care, and support and facilitate adoption.

Our proposal for providing subsidized universal health insurance (see Health Care plank) might also include contraceptive care as a covered item, in order to reduce the incidence of abortion. 

Legal Rights for the Fetus

We oppose legislation designed to grant legal rights to the fetus. These laws are problematic from any number of points of view, including their effects on contraception, fertility treatments and the rights provided under Roe v. Wade.



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