Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found.
Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position (Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, in a May 9, 2008 article titled "Strictly Personal" on www.renewamerica.us:
"I believe abortion is America's national holocaust. It is the deliberate killing of innocent human life. Furthermore, it is absolutely disgraceful that while the so-called "pro-life" Republican Party controlled the entire federal government from 2000 to 2006, they did nothing to overturn Roe v. Wade and end legalized abortion." May 9, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
[Editor's Note: Prior to Bob Barr's May 26, 2008 Not Clearly Pro or Con statement, he also made the following Con statement made on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision in a Jan. 22, 2002 article titled "Barr Rallies for Life" on his former US House of Representatives website (accessed May 28, 2002).]
"Abortion is not a 'choice', it is the deliberate killing of a human life. Yet, for the past 29 years, thousands of innocent lives have been ended as a result of this horrendous decision. Fortunately, the dedication and commitment of the pro-life community remains strong, and our efforts to protect life remain unbowed.
In the coming congressional session, I and my colleagues in the House Pro-Life caucus will continue to work hard against those actions which are at odds with protecting the sanctity of life. From our opposition to human cloning, to continued efforts to have the Democrat-controlled Senate pass a ban on partial-birth abortion, our commitment is strong, and with the help of committed citizens, such as those who support Georgia Right to Life, we will ultimately be victorious." Jan. 22, 2002 Bob Barr
[Editor's Note: In addition to John McCain's undated Not Clearly Pro or Con position above, regarding keeping abortion legal, he has also expressed a Pro position as indicated in his July 21, 2005 statement on Hardball with Chris Matthews below.]
"[John McCain]: I think it [right to an abortion] depends on the stage of the pregnancy, and I know we're splitting hairs here. But there's a point-there's a point where the woman's health is, obviously, in the later stages of pregnancy, is-gains in greater and greater importance. But I believe that if Roe v. Wade itself were repealed, we would go back to the states. And the states would make decisions according to the standards that they want to prevail within their states. So, if Roe v. Wade were repealed, that wouldn't have the Draconian effects that some view it. And I'm, being a states rights guy, that would be fine with me...
[Chris Mathews]: It would be OK with you if some states said that a woman couldn't have an abortion, even if her health was in danger?
[John McCain]: My position-my position is life of the mother, obviously... Rape, incest, or the life of the mother."
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), issued the following statement in an article titled "Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life: Overturning Roe v. Wade" on his official candidate website (accessed Aug. 20, 2008):
"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.
Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.
However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion - the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby. The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, 'At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level.'" Aug. 20, 2008 John McCain
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), stated in her May 1, 2007 Green Party Presidential Candidate Questionnaire:
"In 1999, I voted NO on barring the interstate transportation of minors to get an abortion. I supported funding contraception and UN family planning. I voted NO to oppose banning partial-birth abortions. In 2001, I voted NO on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad and NO on a new federal crime for harming a fetus while committing other crimes. In 2005, I voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions." May 1, 2007 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Ralph Nader affirms that these are issues of life and death for women, not mere matters of choice. Ralph Nader supports access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control, to reproductive health and education. We oppose attempts to restrict these rights through legislation, regulation (like the gag rule) or Constitutional amendment. Ralph Nader supports the right of women to have children, including appropriate pre-natal care and quality childcare. We oppose government efforts to limit or discourage childbearing, such as family caps and involuntary sterilization." Oct. 20, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in a Nov. 7, 2007 article titled "Obama on Gay Marriage, Abortion" from The Brody File on CBNnews.com:
"One of the things that I've always said is that abortion is a deeply moral issue. And those who would deny that there is a moral component to it I think are wrong. The reason that I make a decision to support the choice position is not because I don't think it's a moral issue but because I trust women to make a prayerful decision about this issue." Nov. 7, 2007 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Joe Biden, US Senator (D-DE), stated in an Apr. 29, 2007 interview with MSNBC host Tim Russert on Meet the Press:
"Mr, Russert: You have changed your position on abortion. When you came to the Senate, you believed that Roe v. Wade was not correctly decided and that you also believed a [sic] the right of abortion was not secured by the Constitution. Why did you change your mind?
Sen. Biden: Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the United States Senate, and I have learned a lot. Look, Tim, I'm a practicing Catholic, and it is the biggest dilemma for me in terms of comporting my, my religious and cultural views with my political responsibility. And the decision that I have come to is Roe v. Wade is as close to we're going to be able to get as a society that incorporates the general lines of debate within Christendom, Judaism and other faiths, where it basically says there is a sliding scale relating to viability of a fetus. We can argue about whether or not it's precisely set, whether it's right or wrong in terms of its three months as opposed to two months, but it does encompass, I've come to conclude, the only means by which, in this heterogeneous society of ours, we can read some general accommodation on what is a religiously charged and a publicly-charged debate. That's the, that's the decision I've come to...
...[T]he decision's the closest thing politically to what has been the philosophic divisions existent among the major confessional faiths in our country. And that's why, I think, that's why I've come to the conclusion some long time ago, over 25 years ago, that is the-it is the template which makes the most sense." Apr. 29, 2007 Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), in a June 13, 2006 article titled "Women's Rights: National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association Luncheon" on her official candidate website, stated:
"Let us unite around a common goal of reducing the amount of abortions, not by making them illegal as many are attempting to do or overturning Roe v. Wade and undermining the constitutional protections that decision provided, but by preventing unintended pregnancies in the first place through education, contraception, accessible health care and services, empowering women to make decisions." June 13, 2006 Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd, US Senator (D-CT), stated at the Apr. 26, 2007 South Carolina Democratic Presidential Debate in Orangeburg, SC:
"I happen to believe a woman has a right to choose. I've voted that way and done that, supported that for the 26 years I've been in the United States Senate... Abortions ought to be rare, safe and legal. And I think all of us here, regardless of your views on the question, would like to see national leadership in the country that would start providing additional choices so that women aren't faced with just the choice they have today." Apr. 26, 2007 Chris Dodd
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), stated in an article titled "A Woman's Right to Choose" on his official candidate website (accessed Nov. 20, 2007):
"The decision about whether to become a parent is one of the most important life decisions that a woman can face. She should make it with her family, her doctor, and in the context of her religious and ethical values; government and politicians should not make the decision for her. John Edwards supports a woman's constitutional right to choose...As president, he will protect and defend the right to choose and reverse the damage that has been done by President Bush's anti-choice agenda." Nov. 20, 2007 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, stated in a speech at Houston Baptist University in Houston, TX, on May 11, 2007:
"On abortion, this is a matter of deep and profound judgment. It's a matter of morals. It's a matter of your interpretation of how laws should operate, your interpretation of how respect for the rights of others should operate... Here are the two strong beliefs that I have, and the two pillars of my thinking that always inform my judgments about this. One is I believe abortion is wrong. I think it is morally wrong and if I were asked my advice by someone who is considering an abortion, I would tell them not to have an abortion, to have the child... The second pillar that guides my thinking on this is, in a country like ours, where people of good faith, people who are equally decent, equally moral and equally religious, when they come to different conclusions about this... I believe you have to respect their viewpoint and give them a level of choice here... Therefore I would grant women the right to make that choice." May 11, 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, stated in an article titled "Issues: Sanctity of Life" on his official candidate website (accessed Nov. 30, 2007):
"I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned." Nov. 30, 2007 Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter, US Representative (R-CA), in an article titled "Core Principles" on his official campaign website (accessed Nov. 28 2007), stated:
"I would amend the US Constitution and provide blanket protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception by prohibiting any state or federal law that denies the personhood of the unborn. Likewise, I have also introduced the Right to Life Act, which would legally define 'personhood' as the moment of conception and, therefore, guarantee all constitutional rights and protections, including life, to the unborn without utilizing a constitutional amendment." Nov. 28, 2007 Duncan Hunter
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in the "Abortion / Life Issues" section on his official candidate website (accessed Apr. 2, 2008):
"If the Declaration of Independence states our creed, then there can be no right to abortion, since it means denying the most fundamental right of all to human offspring in the womb...
...[A]bortion must be understood as the unjust taking of a human life, and a breach of the fundamental principles of our public moral creed...
As far as the 'legality' of abortion is concerned, how could the so-called 'right' to murder our children in the womb have come about? I think, in open debate, I could prove it to anyone - that Roe v. Wade was the most obscenely illogical and shoddily-written Supreme Court decision perhaps in the whole history of our country. There was a perverse illogic to it that ought to, even to this day, warn us against the possibility that it has any real ground or foundation in our law or the Constitution."
Apr. 2, 2008 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Nov. 9, 2007 email to ProCon.org:
"The question is based on false premises. In the federalist system set down in the US Constitution, the federal government is given very limited powers, and regulating abortion or any other medical procedure is not one of those powers. There's simply no federal mandate there. On a personal level, my preference is for abortion to be safe, legal and rare -- but as a presidential candidate, my policy position is that that's a matter for the states to hash out without federal interference." Nov. 9, 2007 Steve Kubby
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), in an Oct. 4, 2007 Online News Hour segment titled "Kucinich Details His Views on Iraq War, Health Care Reform," stated:
"Judy Woodruff: Four years ago, you changed your position, is that right, on abortion?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, you know what? It was long before I ran for president the first time that I came to an understanding of how this issue was tearing America apart and how it's possible to simultaneously stand for a woman's right to choose and, at the same time, work to make abortions less likely. I think it's possible to do both." Oct. 4, 2007 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Nov. 13, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"Yes, within limitations. Having spoken with people who have been faced with the decision of getting an abortion or not, I realize it is probably one of the most difficult decisions most women can ever make in their lives and one rarely forgotten. My preference would be that no one would ever feel that they have to get or contemplate an abortion for any reason. However, I also believe that this is a moral issue that is best decided by a woman, her family, friends and religious beliefs. I also believe that this is an issue more properly addressed on the state level and that partial birth abortions should be outlawed." Nov. 13, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), in an article titled "Core Principles" on his official candidate website (accessed Nov. 28, 2007), stated:
"Once we allow federal control over abortion, we lose the opportunity for states to enact pro-life legislation. Numerous states already have laws that punish the act of murder against a fetus. Our focus should be on overturning Roe and getting the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters." Nov. 28, 2007 Ron Paul
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated in an article titled "Addressing Issues of Importance to Women" on his official candidate website (accessed Nov. 21, 2007):
"I am pro-choice and will continue to support abortion rights and medical privacy for women. I am the only candidate explicitly committing to appoint only judges who consider Roe v. Wade settled law." Nov. 21, 2007 Bill Richardson
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated in an Aug. 21, 2007 broadcast of Face to Face with Jon Ralston on KLAS 8 Las Vegas:
"My view is that the Supreme Court has made an error in saying at the national level one size fits all for the whole nation. And instead, I would let states make their choices... I'd let states make their own decisions in this regard." Aug. 21, 2007 Mitt Romney
[Editor's Note: Prior to Mitt Romney's Aug. 6, 2007 Con position, his position was Pro "abortion should remain a legal option," as indicated in his July 26, 2005 statement in a Boston Globe "Op-Ed" article below.]
"I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate."
[Editor's Note: Prior to Mitt Romney's Aug. 21, 2007 Not Clearly Pro or Con position above, his position was Con "abortion should remain a legal option," as indicated in his Aug. 6, 2007 statement on Good Morning America below.]
"We support a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children." Aug. 6, 2007 Mitt Romney
Christine Smith, a Libertarian candidate and a social and political activist, stated in a Dec. 5, 2007 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes (if the people of a given state decide so). Abortion should be neither encouraged or discouraged in any manner by the federal government. It is not an issue for federal executive decision. (Roe vs. Wade was a judicial decision, not an executive.) Thus, neither 'pro life' nor 'pro choice' groups/initiatives should be funded or supported in any way by the federal government.Abortion matters must be rightly decided upon only by the people of a given state. My personal belief is that life begins at conception, but I would never let my personal feelings on any issue be imposed upon other Americans. Thus, I always as a citizen would vote pro-choice in my state, and as President, I will uphold the US Constitution which does not authorize the federal government to be involved in the issue of abortion." Dec. 5, 2007 Christine Smith
Tom Tancredo, US Representative (R-CO), in an article titled "On the Issues" on his official candidate website (accessed Dec. 3, 2007), stated:
"The innocent unborn enjoy a God given right to life. Roe is a scar on the moral and intellectual history of the country; but, contrary to popular belief, overturning it would merely permit and not require states to prohibit abortion. To protect life, we also need to educate the public about the second victim of abortion, the mother who is subject to potential life long medical and emotional scarring." Dec. 3, 2007 Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson, former US Senator (R-TN), stated on a June 5, 2007 FOX News broadcast of Hannity & Colmes:
"I've always thought that Roe v. Wade was a wrong decision, that they usurped what had been the law in this country for 200 years, that it was a matter that should go back to the states. When you get back to the states, I think the states should have some leeway. I might vote against one approach, but I think the states ought to have it. Essentially, federalism. It's in the Constitution." June 5, 2007 Fred Thompson