NRL News

Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Abortion?

by | Oct 5, 2016

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

2016 POTUS comparison

Every presidential election year, National Right to Life publishes a downloadable comparison flyer about the presidential candidates. This year’s flyer is entitled “Where Do the Candidates Stand on Abortion?” The downloadable version of “Where Do the Candidates Stand on Abortion?” is available at:

Not surprisingly, the candidates have very different views on abortion. Here is an overview of their positions on abortion-related issues.

Abortion on Demand

Donald Trump said, “Let me be clear – I am pro-life,” adding, “I did not always hold this position, but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.”

In contrast, in the U.S. Senate Hillary Clinton voted to endorse Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which allows abortion for any reason. She says, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” later adding she believed this to be true even on the unborn child’s due date.

Partial-Birth Abortion

The partial-birth abortion procedure – used from the fifth month on – involves pulling a living baby feet-first out of the womb, except for the head, puncturing the skull and suctioning out the brain. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007, in a 5-4 decision.

In 2000, in his book The America We Deserve, Donald Trump wrote that after consulting with doctors about the partial-birth abortion procedure he concluded that he would support a ban on that method.

In 2003, Hillary Clinton voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (voted to allow partial-birth abortions to continue) every chance she got.

Nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court

The next president may have the opportunity to appoint three or four justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In May 2016, Donald Trump released a list of eleven conservative judges whom he would consider for a Supreme Court vacancy, saying, “By the way, these judges are all pro-life.”

Hillary Clinton has said that she would only nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold the decision that legalized abortion on demand, saying, “I would not appoint someone who didn’t think Roe v. Wade is settled law.”

Vice Presidential Candidates

The contrasting positions of the vice presidential candidates are listed.

Donald Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate. Mike Pence had a solid pro-life voting record on abortion during 12 years in the U.S. House, including votes for passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. As governor of Indiana, Mike Pence champions pro-life measures.

Hillary Clinton chose U.S. Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Tim Kaine voted against the pro-life position in the U.S. Senate every chance he got, even voting against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Tim Kaine co-sponsored a bill (S.217) that would nullify virtually all state limits on abortion, including late abortions.

Party Platforms

The party platforms reveal a great contrast on abortion.

The Republican Party Platform affirms “that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life,” opposes using government funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund abortion providers, and supports legislation to assist babies who survive abortion.

The Democratic Party Platform supports abortion on demand, and calls for repeal of the Hyde Amendment (which restricts the use of federal funds for abortion). The platform also supports government funding of abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Feel free to download and share the flyer. A downloadable version of the flyer, “Where do the Candidates stand on Abortion?” may be found here:

Look for updates in future National Right to Life News Today.

Categories: Politics