RH Reality check recently sent out a detailed and comprehensive questionnaire to all presidential candidates about their views on reproductive rights, from abortion to contraception and the right to parent. Only Senator Edwards and Senator Obama filled out the questionnaire, and Senator Dodd issued a statement (a mix-up meant that Kucinich did not receive the questionnaire until recently, and they are awaiting his responses).
Personally, I found it to be very informative. I thought that Edwards’ answers were great, very powerfully pro-choice, and I greatly appreciated his taking the time to make remarks about the importance of providing support and assistance to mothers. Dodd seems to have a pretty good record, but I didn’t find his statement to be incredibly informative or impressive. As for Obama’s answers, I was very pleasantly surprised to learn just how strong Obama’s record on reproductive rights and women’s health is. I found myself feeling very impressed, and thinking that he might indeed be the most pro-choice candidate in the field. Then, alas, I read this:
Does Sen. Obama support any restrictions on abortion, or does he believe it should be entirely up to women?
Obama supports those restrictions that are consistent with the legal framework outlined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
Sigh. This seems to be a theme with Obama; every time he impresses me, he almost immediately ends up letting me down. Though, to be fair, I had to cringe a little at the end of Edwards’ answer to the same question, when he added that he opposed the federal abortion ban (“partial-birth” abortion ban) because it didn’t provide an adequate exception for women’s health. In any case, read through the statements — and let me know what you think. Personally, I walked away believing that either Edwards or Obama would do a fine job of protecting and increasing women’s right to reproductive health care.