Republican Candidates Discuss Abortion, Abstinence Education

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Abortion, Sex Education

Several Republican presidential candidates on Monday discussed abortion and sex education, as well as other issues, at the Values Voters Presidential Debate in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the AP/Sarasota Herald Tribune reports. Several Republican candidates -- including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) -- did not attend the debate, citing scheduling conflicts.

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The seven candidates in attendance -- Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.); Reps. Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Ron Paul (Texas) and Tom Tancredo(Colo.); Chicago businessman John Cox; and Alan Keyes, a Marylandconservative and former United Nations diplomat -- told voters theywould work to prevent federal funding from going to organizations thatperform or promote abortion. The candidates also said they wouldincrease funding for abstinence-based sex education programs and wouldoppose human embryonic stem cell research (Sedensky, AP/Sarasota Herald Tribune, 9/17).

Several candidates also said they would only appoint judges who are abortion-rights opponents, the South Florida Sun-Sentinelreports. Hunter said that if elected, he would not nominate judicialcandidates who "can look at a sonogram of an unborn child and not see avaluable human life." Keyes linked abortion to the fight againstterrorism, adding, "The killing is the same. The principle is thesame." Brownback said the nation needs to return to three basic values:life, family and faith.

Empty lecterns were set up for the absent candidates at the Broward Center for Performing Arts (Man/Ortega, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/18). Questions regarding abortion and other issues were addressed to Giuliani, Romney and McCain, the AP/Herald Tribune reports. Jan Folger, president of the group Faith2Actionand member of the debate's organizing committee, said the nonattendingcandidates "will regret the decision," adding, "Because they snubbedus, they will not win, because we will not follow their lead" (AP/Sarasota Herald Tribune, 9/17). The debate was aired on the Internet, the radio and on a religious television channel (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/18).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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