What does "Faithful Citizenship" say about abortion?
"The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many." #28
"The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights--to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive.... The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors--basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work--is universally binding on our consciences." #25
"Our Conference supports laws and policies to protect human life to the maximum degree possible, including constitutional protection for the unborn and legislative efforts to end abortion and euthanasia. We also promote a culture of life by supporting laws and programs that encourage childbirth and adoption over abortion and by addressing poverty, providing health care, and offering other assistance to pregnant women, children, and families." #65
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 2007)
For more, see Catholic social teaching on abortion.
What does Democratic Platform say about abortion?
"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
"The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives.
"We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
"The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs."
What is Barack Obama's position on abortion?
Barackobama.com, the official site of his campaign, explains the senator's position on abortion:
"Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.
"Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims."
The site reports that he also worked to make sure that the party platform "strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs."
At the Saddleback Presidential Candidate Forum (August 16, 2008), in response to a question about abortion, Obama said:
"I'm absolutely convinced that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And so I think anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.
"But point number two, I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe v. Wade, and I come to that conclusion not because I'm pro-abortion, but because, ultimately, I don't think women make these decisions casually. I think they wrestle with these things in profound ways, in consultation with their pastors or their spouses or their doctors or their family members.
"And so, for me, the goal right now should be -- and this is where I think we can find common ground. And by the way, I've now inserted this into the Democratic Party platform, is how do we reduce the number of abortions? The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down and that is something we have to address.
"I am in favor, for example, of limits on late-term abortions, if there is an exception for the mother's health. From the perspective of those who are pro-life, I think they would consider that inadequate, and I respect their views...
"What I can do is say, are there ways that we can work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, so that we actually are reducing the sense that women are seeking out abortions. And as an example of that, one of the things that I've talked about is how do we provide the resources that allow women to make the choice to keep a child. Have we given them the health care that they need? Have we given them the support services that they need? Have we given them the options of adoption that are necessary? That can make a genuine difference."