This page is a recurring page that may be set aside for other timely content to be conveniently posted on the page bar. Last updated October 2014
This page also provides commentary on the matter of party affiliation and legislative organization. It also suggests the implications of voting for a candidate who states his or her views favorably on a key matter like the right to life when those views differ from his or her party’s views. Accordingly it provides insight into whether the candidates’ views are dependably “operational.”
Where do the two major political parties stand on the right to life? What are the implications of their stands?
Right to Life organizations have as their core purpose the legal protection of the right to life of all members of the human family threatened by abortion and euthanasia. Legal protection requires legislation which requires elected office holders committed to furthering that protection. The political reality of legislative organization fundamentally affects the prospects for success.
The current state of governmental affairs in our country is such that state and national legislatures are organized along political party lines. The Democrat and Republican parties overwhelmingly dominate the legislative caucus or organization system. The leadership of each party in the legislature controls their members. Key committee assignments, reelection help, the spoils system is dependent on party affiliation and that party’s philosophy and leadership. The majority party controls along those lines and which proposals even get voted on.
Party leadership is responsible for developing and moving the party’s agenda, or platform. Ignoring party affiliation when evaluating candidates’ positions on an issue is not partisan, it is practical. To ignore party can produce results perverse to your desires. Party affiliation and party support or opposition can be so controlling or influential regarding legislation that voting for a candidate with even a stated position different from the party, who is critical of the party position and in spite of their personal integrity, their election can actually increase the likelihood of just the opposite of one’s hopes for certain legislation ever being achieved.
The candidate with a contrary view to the party still helps provide the party “caucus number” that determines control of the legislature. When it comes to issues considered key to the party or its leadership, arguably, the statement that he or she supports your view is a win win for his or her party’s opposite view. The candidate’s views will go nowhere legislatively with his or her party in control, but it may help him or her get elected and then that candidate’s party affiliation helps the same party dominate because he or she contributes to that party’s winning control of the legislature.
The situation is at least as perverse as that where a candidate says they personally support your position or has a personal opposition to something you also oppose but takes the legislative position that they will not impose their personal views. It is not merely a hollow position as far as the desired legislation it is entirely hostile to your views as a practical matter. If the candidate does not make their legislative position clear at the same time it is deceitful.
Set forth below are the Democrat and Republican Parties platform positions on the issue of the right to life and protecting the unborn from abortion. Links to the respective platform positions are provided.
Certain phrases are understood and used in the Democrat Party as inclusive of the abortion right – “family planning” and “reproductive choice,” herein. The Democrat Party parlance also does not distinguish between adult stem cell research and stem cell research involving the destruction of human embryos or cloning and killing them for research purposes. The private organization Planned Parenthood is understood by both parties as a key purveyor of abortion.In Democrat Party parlance the phrase “Pregnancy related prescriptions” is inclusive of abortifacient drugs and devices as is the term “emergency contraception.” When using the term “personal reproductive services” Democrat policy makers understand it to be inclusive of the right to abortion on demand.
Roe v Wade (along with the companion case Doe v Bolton) legalized abortion in the United State without restriction. Line or item designations to the respective platforms are provided. Note that the Republican Party at the national level is very effusive on the issue of the right to life and related matters.
The National Democrat Party
The President and the Democratic Party believe that women have a right to control their reproductive choices. Democrats support access to affordable family planning services, and President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers . . .
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. . . .
President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to supporting family planning around the globe to help women care for their families, support their communities, and lead their countries to be healthier and more productive. That’s why, in his first month in office, President Obama overturned the “global gag rule,” a ban on federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provided information about, counseling on, or offered abortions. And that is why the administration has supported lifesaving family planning health information and services.
The Iowa Democrat Party
Both the state and local platforms use a format of listing items or planks “supported” in a topical category and those that are “opposed” within that same category.
The Iowa Democratic Party supports a woman’s right to personal reproductive decisions as well as the legalization and licensing of certified professional midwives. We oppose any legislation that would defund or hamper the activities of women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Item 368 / 160 stem-cell research, including embryonic
425/ 185 — the right of women to make their own healthcare decisions including reproductive choices, and affordable contraceptives for all persons
428 /187 — increased funding for Planned Parenthood
433 / 191 — requiring pharmacists to fill pregnancy – related prescriptions
434 / 192 — emergency contraceptive access without parental consent with appropriate follow -up counseling
Scott County Democrat Party
IA-15 tying international family planning to abstinence -only and anti -abortion programs.
Health and Human Services
HH -14 expanded stem cell research.
Government and Law
GL- 10 a woman’s fundamental right to personal reproductive decisions.
GL- 11 Roe v. Wade.
The Republican National Platform
The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of 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 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 or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
Renewing American Values
Adoption and Foster Care
Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – was never really about healthcare, though its impact upon the nation’s health is disastrous. From its start, it was about power, the expansion of government control over one sixth of our economy, and resulted in an attack on our Constitution, by requiring that U.S. citizens purchase health insurance. We agree with the four dissenting justices of the Supreme Court: “In our view the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” It was the high-water mark of an outdated liberalism, the latest attempt to impose upon Americans a euro-style bureaucracy to manage all aspects of their lives. Obamacare has been struck down in the court of public opinion and is falling by the weight of its own confusing, unworkable, budget-busting, and conflicting provisions. It would tremendously expand Medicaid without significant reform, leaving the States to assume unsustainable financial burdens. If fully implemented, it could not function; and Republican victories in the November elections will guarantee that it is never implemented. Congressional Republicans are committed to its repeal; and a Republican President, on the first day in office, will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt its progress and then will sign its repeal. Then the American people, through the free market, can advance affordable and responsible healthcare reform that meets the needs and concerns of patients and providers. Through Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.
Supporting Federal Healthcare Research and Development (Top)
We support federal investment in healthcare delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality healthcare. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical research, especially the neuroscience research that may hold great potential for dealing with diseases and disorders such as Autism, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If we are to make significant headway against breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and other killers, research must consider the special needs of formerly neglected groups. We call for expanded support for the stem-cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions – with adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells-without the destruction of embryonic human life. We urge a ban on human cloning and on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos. We support restoring the Drug Enforcement Administration ban on the use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide. We oppose the FDA approval of Mifeprex, formerly known as RU-486, and similar drugs that terminate innocent human life after conception.
Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare
No healthcare professional or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, withhold, or refer for a medical service against their conscience. This is especially true of the religious organizations which deliver a major portion of America’s healthcare, a service rooted in the charity of faith communities. We do not believe, however, that healthcare providers should be allowed to withhold services because the healthcare provider believes the patient’s life is not worth living. We support the ability of all organizations to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral or ethical convictions without discrimination or penalty. We likewise support the right of parents to consent to medical treatment for their children, including mental health treatment, drug treatment, and treatment involving pregnancy, contraceptives and abortion. We urge enactment of pending legislation that would require parental consent to transport girls across state lines for abortions.
Republican Party of Iowa
The following are the fundamental principles that make up the platform of the Republican Party of Iowa:
We acknowledge our rights derive from God and are therefore unalienable and include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness (i.e. private property). Further, the Right to Life shall be understood to include all people from conception to natural death.
1.Human life is a sacred gift from our Creator and is a fundamental right as outlined in the Declaration of Independence. This right is innately valuable in every stage and development from conception to non-intervened natural death. No human life should ever be diminished, and innocent human life must never be arbitrarily taken. We commend the efforts of those individuals and religious and private organizations that are providing positive alternatives to abortion by meeting the physical, emotional, and financial needs of pregnant women and offering services where needed.
2 We oppose the use of public funding for abortion services, contraception, and abortifacients.
4 We support non-embryonic stem cell research, while opposing human cloning and research using fetal tissue from abortions.
1. We support the complete repeal of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in total, and replacing it with a customer-based free market solution. We support allowing patients and health care providers to make healthcare decisions and plans without interference from the government.
2. We believe that parents are responsible for their children, and we support the rights of parents to be the ultimate authority for the discipline, protection, and education of their children. We oppose the recognition of the United Nations Convention on “The Rights of the Child”.
3. We believe money should follow the child in education – whether that child attends public, private, or parochial schools – to assist parents financially in educating their children using the option best suited to their family’s educational needs. We call on the General Assembly to provide for tuition vouchers, tax deductions, or tax credits to permit parents’ choice in educating their children — without government intervention in the school curriculum. Competition is needed to improve the quality of education.
6. We support “Conscience Clause” legislation so that no person, business, or organization can be penalized for its exercise of religious freedom by not providing services that violates their religious beliefs.
10. We support legislation that would prohibit any organization, including Planned Parenthood, from teaching sex education in our public schools. These agencies should be prohibited from entering public school properties for the purpose of promoting promiscuous behavior and abortion products, videos, or printed material.
Scott County Republican Party
6.1 We believe the unborn child, as a genetically unique individual, has the fundamental right to life that should not be infringed upon. We promote education on alternatives to abortion, assistance to mothers during pregnancy, and efforts to encourage the adoption of unwanted children.