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Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 US Presidential Candidates on ABORTION

One of the main issues asked to US Presidential Candidates for 2008 is ABORTION. Needless to state, this has always been associated with RH advocacy, which is actually false, unfair, and misleading. For one, as an RH advocate, I personally do not subscribe to such. But then again, I am all for informed choices and respect for the rights of women and couples to exercise such right, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Corollary to that, ARH (adolescent reproductive health) Education is aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies among teenagers, thereby also reducing cases of abortion in these age group.

Having said that, it bears stressing then that access to RH care and services in this country is greatly influenced by the relationship existing between the US and the Philippines. The latter, as earlier pointed out by Carol in the previous post, being a long time recipient of USAID funding on matters of population and health. And although the success of RH/PopDev advocacy in the country greatly depends on the strengths and capacity of the advocates to deal with the challenges that goes with it, it cannot be denied that to some extent, the results of the 2008 US Presidential Elections in the "super power of the world", will affect the same.

Here's a peek of what the candidates have to say:

Barack Obama: Democratic Senator from Illinois

Supports Roe v. Wade;

criticized Supreme Court decision that upheld ban

on partial-birth abortions.

Hillary Clinton: Democratic Senator from New York

Supports Roe v. Wade;

opposes ban on partial-birth abortions;

judges should protect women's rights.

John McCain: Republican Senator from Arizona

Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, but has been supportive in the past;

supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions;

"strict constructionist judges."

What is Roe vs. Wade?

Argued December 13, 1971; Reargued October 11, 1972; Decided January 22, 1973

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is a United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark decision regarding abortion. According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision overturned all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with its holdings. Roe v. Wade is one of the most controversial and politically significant cases in U.S. Supreme Court history. Its lesser-known companion case, Doe v. Bolton, was decided at the same time.

The central holding of Roe v. Wade was that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’ that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. The Court also held that abortion after viability must be available when needed to protect a woman's health, which the Court defined broadly in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton. These court rulings affected laws in 46 states.

The Roe v. Wade decision prompted national debate that continues to this day. Debated subjects include:

a.) whether and to what extent abortion should be illegal;

b.) who should decide whether or not abortion is illegal;

c.)what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication,


d.) what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere.

Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the nation into pro-Roe (mostly pro-choice) and anti-Roe (mostly pro-life) camps, and inspiring grassroots activism on both sides.

Click here to read more about what the candidates have to say on this issue.