Before you vote, here is what the candidates say about abortion

caucus nightIowa is in the national spotlight once again. Caucus night is here! Before you vote, IFL wants to keep you informed on where major candidates stand on the abortion issue. The RealClearPolitics average poll numbers for Iowa look like this:

  1. Bernie Sanders (24.2)
  2. Joe Biden (20.2)
  3. Pete Buttigieg (16.4)
  4. Elizabeth Warren (15.6)

Here are representative quotes from the four leading Democratic candidates followed by a few by President Trump:

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

“And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd.”

“I have a lifetime 100% pro-choice voting record. I understand that people disagree on this issue, but I believe that it is a woman’s decision, it’s a difficult decision, but it’s a decision between her and her physician. I will do everything that I can in 50 states of this country to make sure that women have a choice.”

“The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies.”

“We are not going back. We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family and a physician to make, not the government.”

 “My plan, as somebody who believes for a start that a woman’s right to control her own body is a constitutional right, that government and politicians should not infringe on that right, we will do everything we can to defend Roe versus Wade. Let’s face this, Medicare for All guarantees every woman in this country the right to have an abortion if she wants it.” [2019]

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

“A woman shouldn’t have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body.” [1974]

“I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it’s always a tragedy. I think it should be rare and safe. I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions.” [2006]

“I still am opposed to public funding for abortion. It goes to the question of whether or not you’re going to impose a view to support something that is not a guaranteed right but an affirmative action to promote.” [2007, a view he held until June 5th, 2019]

“My religion defines who I am. And I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position that life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and–I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court–I’m not going to interfere with that. [2012]

#Government doesn’t have “a right to tell other people that women, they can’t control their body,” [2012]

Biden affirms long standing support for the Hyde Amendment [June 5th, 2019]

“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” [June 6th, 2019]

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

“Right now, they hold everybody in line with this one piece of doctrine about abortion, which is obviously a tough issue for a lot of people to think through morally. Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, and so even that is something that we can interpret differently,”

“In my view, this is a question that is almost unknowable. This is a moral question that’s not going to be settled by science. And so the best way for it to be settled in practice is by the person who actually faces the choice. And when a woman is facing this decision in her life, I think in terms of somebody besides her who can most be useful in that, the answer to that would be a doctor. Not a male government official imposing his interpretation of his religion.”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren“We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.” [on the Hyde Amendment]

“We must build a future that protects the right of all women to have children, the right of all women to not have children, and the right to bring children up in a safe and healthy environment,” 

“When abortions are illegal, women don’t stop getting them–they just risk their lives to do it. Today, thanks to Roe, getting an abortion is safer than getting your tonsils out. Before Roe v. Wade, many women turned to back-alley butchers to end their pregnancies.” [2018, Marie Claire op-ed]

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

“But Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded. I mean if you look at what’s going on with that, it’s terrible. And many of the things should be defunded and many things should be cut.”; “I would look at the individual things that they do and maybe some of the things are good,” Trump said. “We have to take care of women. We have to absolutely take care of women. The abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood should not–absolutely should not–be funded.”

“But look, Planned Parenthood has to stop with the abortions. A lot of people consider it an abortion clinic. I think those tapes that I saw were outrageous and disgusting by any standpoint. And they have to stop.”

“I’ve evolved on many issues over the years. And you know who else has? Is Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let [that quoted excerpt] run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I’ve very much evolved. And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.”

“All of us here today understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and sanctity of every human life.” [March for Life, 2020]

“I notified Congress that I would veto any legislation that weakens pro-life policies or that encourages the destruction of human life.” [March for Life, 2020] 

Be sure to follow the links above to additional blogposts on the impact of Medicare for All and Pete Buttigieg’s actions to block the construction of a pro-life women’s reproductive health medical center. Go make a difference on this caucus night!