Abortion and a woman's right to choose have been a hot topic politically for a very long time. However, most candidates who are pro-choice don't like to go into details of what the do and don't favor because the granularity is a very sticky matter. Still, it needs to be explored.
Please put these questions to your political candidate to help us all better understand where our representatives stand on the matter of women's health and pro-choice government policies.
Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113 (1973) has been the law and will likely remain the law for the foreseeable future. However, it's always a good idea to know how your elected officials feel about the issues - such as should the unborn have any rights at all? Are they human in the sense that the law should regard them as such? (Q. 10 below) In most US States, the murder of a pregnant woman is charged as a double homicide, yet if a woman exercised her right to choose under Roe v. Wade, terminating the life of the infant would not be illegal in any way. Understanding how elected leaders square these issues against each other are important.
1. You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any restrictions you would approve of?
2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?
3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?
4. If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?
5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?
6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?
7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?
8. You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical procedures?
9. Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?
10. If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?