Presidential candidates on the abortion issue

President Barack Obama:
President Barack Obama has consistently made statements that he is pro-choice and supports a woman’s right to have an abortion. He also supports programs to help pregnant women and their children. An example, from his statement marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 23, 2011: “I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.”

The Democratic Party’s 2012 platform lists “protecting a woman’s right to choose” as a social concern. Democrats say they strongly support Roe v. Wade and the right to a “safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

The platform states: “Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy; there is no place for politicians and government to get in the way.”

Democrats support reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions through access to health care and education, and call for increasing women’s access to affordable health care and programs to help women during pregnancy and after birth, including adoption programs. (

Mitt Romney:
Even though many have said the economy is the most important issue in voters’ minds this election cycle, the Republicans have kept up a discussion and focus on pro-life and social issues throughout the primary and general election cycle.

The party platform states that it affirms “the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.”

The statement continues: “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” The platform supports a human life amendment to the U.S. constitution, which includes no exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest, or for the life and health of the mother.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney has a slightly different view from his party. In a September CBS news interview, he said: “My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”


Jill Stein:
The Green Party candidate said she believes in protecting a woman’s right to choose. The party platform calls for access to clinics and the morning-after pill, and says clinics should offer consultations about abortion and provide the service to women “regardless of age or marital status.”

It calls for abortion coverage to be included in all health insurance policies, and says state governments should be able to offer the service free of charge to women at the poverty level.

The Green party also believes the government should not cut funds to programs abroad if they offer family planning services, including access to abortion.


Gary Johnson:
Libertarians in general believe the government should stay out of citizens’ personal decisions as much as possible.

In a 2011 interview, Johnson said: “I support women’s rights to choose up until viability of the fetus. I’ve supported the notion of parental notification. I’ve supported counseling and I’ve supported the notion that public funds not be used for abortions.”

The Libertarian platform states that “government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”