Statements on abortion from John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican Platform. (Below the fold)
The Republican Platform:
Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
Funding Medical Research
We support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical research. This commitment will maintain America’s global competitiveness, advance innovative science that can lead to medical breakthroughs, and turn the tide against diseases affecting millions of Americans – diseases that account for the majority of our health care costs. The United States leads in this research, as evidenced by our growing biotechnology industry, but foreign competition is increasing. One way government can help preserve the promise of American innovation is to ensure that our intellectual property laws remain robust.
Federal research dollars should be spent as though lives are at stake – because, in fact, they are. Research protocols must consider the special needs of formerly neglected groups if we are to make significant progress against breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and other killers.
Taxpayer-funded medical research must be based on sound science, with a focus on both prevention and treatment, and in accordance with the humane ethics of the Hippocratic Oath. In that regard, we call for a major expansion of support for the stem-cell research that now shows amazing promise and offers the greatest hope for scores of diseases – with adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells – without the destruction of embryonic human life. We call for a ban on human cloning and for a ban on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes.
We believe medicines and treatments should be designed to prolong and enhance life, not destroy it. Therefore, federal funds should not be used for drugs that cause the destruction of human life. Furthermore, the Drug Enforcement Administration ban on use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide should be restored.
Protecting Rights of Conscience
The health care profession can be both a profession and a calling. No health care professional – doctor, nurse, or pharmacist – or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, or refer for a health care service against their conscience for any reason. This is especially true of the religious organizations which deliver a major portion of America’s health care, a service rooted in the charity of faith communities.
John McCain’s Website:
Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Overturning Roe v. Wade
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.”
In 1993, John McCain and his wife, Cindy, adopted a little girl from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. She has been a blessing to the McCain family and helped make adoption advocacy a personal issue for the Senator.
The McCain family experience is not unique; millions of families have had their lives transformed by the adoption of a child. As president, motivated by his personal experience, John McCain will seek ways to promote adoption as a first option for women struggling with a crisis pregnancy. In the past, he cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against families with adopted children, to provide adoption education, and to permit tax deductions for qualified adoption expenses, as well as to remove barriers to interracial and inter-ethnic adoptions.
Addressing the Moral Concerns of Advanced Technology
Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases – hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.
For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.
As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.
Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.
John McCain on The View, September 12, 2008:
[...]ELISABETH HASSELBECK: There has also been a question burning amongst voters and actually our viewers, and that is the question of Roe v. Wade. And as president, if you were, no softballs coming from me, even though you have my vote. Would you as president work to overturn that? And then would Sarah Palin be working to overturn Roe v. Wade?
SENATOR JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): I think what we would be doing is appointing or nominating justices to the United States Supreme Court and other courts who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States. We would not impose a litmus test on any issue because that’s not fair to the American people. But they would have to have a clear record of strict interpretation.
BARBARA WALTERS: That’s kind of the other way of saying people who would want to overturn Roe v. Wade.
McCAIN: That, that, well, that is saying that, I believe Roe v. Wade was a very bad decision, Barbara. [audience groans] I think it was a bad decision. I thought other, I thought other decisions of the United States Supreme Court were bad decisions. But I want people on the Court who, quote, “do interpret” and not just on the issue of Roe v. Wade, but on other issues.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Do I have to be worried about becoming a slave again?
McCAIN: My interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is that the United States Supreme Court enforces the Constitution of the United States and does not legislate nor invent areas that are responsibilities, according to the Constitution, of the legislative branch.
HASSELBECK: So it was in how the law came up, it was in how Roe v. Wade came apart was the issue. You, you want it to be through the Constitution from the people not from the bench.
McCAIN: And I believe that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then the states would make these decisions.
John McCain at the Saddleback Civil Forum:
Rick Warren: Let’s deal with abortion. I, as a pastor, have to deal with this all the time, every different angle, every different pain, all the decisions and all of that. 40 million abortions since Roe v Wade. Some people who — people who believe that life begins at conception — would say that’s a holocaust for many people. At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?
McCain: At the moment of conception. I have a 25-year pro-life record in the
Congress, [and] in the Senate. And as President of the United States , I will be a pro-life President, and this Presidency will have pro-life policies. That’s my commitment; that’s my commitment to you.
Sarah Palin interviewed by Charlie Gibson of ABC News, September 12, 2008:
Gibson: Roe v. Wade, do you think it should be reversed?
Palin: I think it should and I think states should be able to decide that issue.
Gibson: It’s a critical issue for so many women.
Palin: It is.
Gibson: You believe women should not have that choice?
Palin: It is a very critical and very sensitive and a personal issue also for so many women and men across this nation. I am pro-life. I do respect other people’s opinion on this also and I think that a culture of life is best for America. What I want to do when elected Vice-President with John McCain, hopefully be able to reach out and work with those who are on the other side of this issue because I know we can all agree on the need for and the desire for fewer abortions in America and great support for adoption, for other alternatives that women can and should be empowered to embrace to allow that culture of life. That’s my personal opinion on this Charlie.
Gibson: John McCain would allow abortion in the case of rape and incest, you believe in it only in the case of when the life of the mother is in danger.
Palin: That is my personal opinion.
Gibson: Would you change and accept it in rape and incest?
Palin: My personal opinion is that abortion allowed, if the life of the mother is in danger, please understand me on this, I do understand McCain’s position on this. I do understand others who are very passionate about this issue who have a differing view. The problem is there are too many abortions and women are hurt and I just believe it is time we evolve the debate even, into more long-term solutions for the issue we’re talking about.
McCain-Palin Ad released September 12, 2008:
John McCain is out with a new ad pledging more federal dollars or stem cell research:
ANNCR: They’re the original mavericks. Leaders. Reformers. Fighting for real change.
John McCain will lead his Congressional allies to improve America’s health.
Stem cell research to unlock the mystery of cancer, diabetes, heart disease.
Stem cell research to help free families from the fear and devastation of illness.
Stem cell research to help doctors repair spinal cord damage, knee injuries, serious burns.
Stem cell research to help stroke victims.
And, John McCain and his Congressional allies will invest millions more in new NIH medical research to prevent disease.
Medical breakthroughs to help you get better, faster.
Change is coming.
McCain-Palin and Congressional allies.
The leadership and experience to really change Washington and improve your health.
Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee.
JOHN MCCAIN: I’m John McCain and I approved this message