Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who makes the choice? - the party platforms on abortion

As of last night, both political parties have published their platforms for 2012.* To nobody's surprise, they stand in stark contrast to one another, and nowhere more so than on female reproductive issues.

Republicans call their 412-word statement "The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life." Democrats call their 143-word statement "Protecting a Woman's Right to Choose."

Republicans link the "fundamental individual right to life" to the Declaration of Independence and, oddly, the Fourteenth Amendment (can fetuses then own property? should they be counted in legislative apportionments?). They support a human life amendment but do not specify what it should say. They oppose using tax money to "fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage." Interestingly, though the pro-life article in the Republican platform says "child" or "children" five times (when referring to fetuses), the word "mother" does not appear. Nor is there any mention of possible exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the pregnant woman's health or life.

Democrats, on the other hand, "strongly and unequivocally" support Roe v. Wade. Abortion, they say, "is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way."

Both Democrats and Republicans express concern for the pregnant woman who chooses to give birth. Democrats vow to provide "affordable health care and [ensure] the availability of an access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs." Republicans "salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life." They say nothing about providing any material help to such women, however: apparently this is a task for the private sector.

Tomorrow I plan to comment on how a pro-life Christian can support the Democratic platform, including its right-to-choose paragraph. Or at least I'll start commenting. This topic is not as simple as some people make it, and blog posts are necessarily short.

*The entire GOP platform is available here; the entire Democratic platform, here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to what you have to say tomorrow.