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Does Your Political Party Determine Your Stance on Women’s Issues of Abortion?

Roe and her lawyer fighting to keep abortion legal.
Source: Lorie Shaull

The Democratic and Republican parties often have opposing views about social issues, including women’s issues of abortion and reproductive rights.

Abortion became legalized in the United States through the 1973 Supreme Court Case of Roe vs. Wade. Norma McCorvery (known as Jane Roe on court documents) filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, Dallas County’s district attorney of the time. Roe opposed the Texas law that prohibited abortion unless in the case of saving the mother’s life.

The Supreme Court ruled in her favor. As of January 22, 1973, women were allowed the right to abort under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Since then, women’s issue of abortion and reproductive rights have been debated between and within the political parties.

Generally, the Democratic Party is known for being pro-choice. Pro-choice does not necessarily mean pro-abortion, rather, it denotes the women’s right to choose.

Democrats believe that all women should have the right to abort a fetus. They also call for safe and legal abortion services.

On the other hand, the Republican Party is pro-life. This means that they oppose abortion. Additionally, Republicans oppose government funding that is used for embryonic stem cell research because it may lead to the destruction of human embryos.

I am the pro-life generation
Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, the general ideal does not represent the belief of everyone associated in their parties. There are Democrats who do not support abortion. In the same way, there are Republicans who oppose abortion.

A 2018 survey presented the Republican and Democratic views on abortion under different circumstances. Despite the majority of Democrats that favors pro-choice, 11% said abortion should be illegal in all cases. The number has decreased by 15% since 1975.

In the same 2018 survey, 11% of Republicans stated that abortion should be legal under any circumstances. The number has decreased by 7% since 1975.

A 2018 survey conducted by General Social Survey showed the differences in views on abortion, depending on specific backgrounds. The survey asked, “Should it be possible for a woman to obtain a legal abortion if she wanted one for any reason?” 92% of college-educated liberals agreed, while 55% of all other Democrats agreed.

The 2019 survey also showed that college-educated whites agreed with the question, more than non-college educated whites and non-whites. Additionally, 88% of people who did not observe a religion were in favor of access to legal abortion.

The percentages indicate that differing views arise even within the same political party. It also indicates that beliefs may change, depending on the wording of the question. The first survey asked the legalization of abortion. The second survey asked if a woman should have access to legal abortion.

As the 2020 presidential elections draw closer, presidential candidates have expressed their beliefs on abortion and reproductive rights.

All the Democratic candidates are pro-choice. They support Planned Parenthood, birth control, and reproductive health care. They believe in providing women with the right to choose.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized restrictive abortion laws. He also agreed with Governor Andrew Cuomo when he said advocates of pro-life were “extremists.”

Another Democratic candidate, Mayor of Miramar Wayne Messsam, tweeted his perspective:

Though a Republican, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld is “firmly pro-abortion.” As governor, he introduced bills to easier abortion access.

The only candidate who is pro-life is President Donald Trump. In 2017, he called Planned Parenthood an “abortion factory.” His view has not changed.

Though majority of the Democrats are pro-choice and majority of the Republicans are pro-life, the ideologies do not apply for everyone within the parties.

By: Kahyun Kim

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