Abortion, Birth Control & More: Where the GOP Candidates Stand

Here's your iVillage primer on where the Republican presidential hopefuls stand on the topics everyone is talking about (7 Photos)

Joanne Bamberger on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:09PM

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The Issue: Abortion

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

a Joanne Bamberger on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:18PM

All the GOP candidates consider themselves to be “pro-life” and oppose abortion, though there are variations in their positions:

 

Romney – Romney’s views on abortion have changed over time. As recently as his 1994 campaign for Senate against the late Ted Kennedy, he considered himself to be pro-choice, stating that it was a woman’s right to choose whether she had an abortion. Today, however, Romney contends he is staunchly pro-life, but supports a woman’s right to have an abortion in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk. He refused to sign the pledge from the group Personhood USA that life begins at conception, saying one can never anticipate the unintended consequences of such a pledge.

 

Santorum – Opposed to abortions in all cases. Those who support abortion rights have questioned Santorum’s stand on this in light of his comments in a Philadelphia Inquirer article that when his wife’s life was in danger during one of her pregnancies that he was ready to follow the doctors’ recommendations to terminate the pregnancy to save her life. Today, he claims that creating an exception for the life of the mother is a “phony exception.” Santorum was the co-author of so-called Partial Birth Abortion ban. He has signed the pledge from the group Personhood USA agreeing to work to pass laws that say life begins at conception.

 

Gingrich – Considers himself to be pro-life but says he believes in a woman’s right to an abortion in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother, though he tries to steer the conversation away from that fact when asked. As Speaker of the House in 1995, Gingrich supported federal funding for abortions in case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother was in danger. However, he has flip-flopped on whether he believes life begins at conception or implantation. He has signed the pledge from the group Personhood USA that he will fight to pass laws that say life begins at conception.

 

Paul – Believes life begins at conception, but supports the availability of the “morning after” pill on a state level for rape victims. Paul has been criticized for his remarks that a woman who was the victim of an “honest” rape should be provided with the morning after pill. Paul has also signed the pledge from the group Personhood USA that he will fight to pass laws that say life begins at conception.

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