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Wesley Clark on Abortion

NATO General; Democratic Candidate for President


Partial birth ban ok if exceptions made for womanís health

Clark said he supports a womanís right to an abortion within the confines of a Supreme Court ruling that allows states to impose limited restrictions on when the procedure can occur. Clarkís remarks appeared to refine those he made earlier this month, when he suggested that there should be no time limit imposed on a woman seeking an abortion. In his latest statement, Clark repeated that he supported ďRoe v. Wade as modified by Casey,Ē a reference to a 1992 ruling that allows states to impose limited restrictions. Asked when Roe v. Wade stipulates that life begins, Clark said: ďIím not going to get into a debate on viability. Viability is a standard determined by a doctor, and Iím not going to get into a specific time frame.Ē Clark also said he would support legislation banning partial birth abortions as long as an exception is included based on the health of the woman. Earlier this month, Clark suggested that no time limit should be placed on a womanís right to an abortion.
Source: Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, Page A10 Jan 23, 2004

An issue of human rights, not of Catholic doctrine

Q: As a Catholic, can you clarify your pro-choice position on abortion and describe how you reconcile that with Catholic doctrine?

CLARK: I reconcile it with my own beliefs. And I do believe in the right of conscience. And I support a womanís right to choose protected by law. I fought for human rights in Bosnia. I fought for human rights in Kosovo. And I will fight for human rights in America. And no one is going to take away a womanís right to choose when Iím president of the United States. Itís that simple.

Q: Can you clarify how you reconcile that with Catholic doctrine?

CLARK: I understand what the Catholic doctrine is. But I have freedom of conscience. I believe that the right to choose is a right that should be protected by law. I believe the decision about issues like this are the issues that have to be worked between a woman and her family, her god, her doctor. And as much as I respect the opinion of the Catholic Church, in this case, I donít support it. Itís that simple.

Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Debate at St. Anselm College Jan 22, 2004

Let a woman and her doctors decide about reproductive health

On reproductive freedom: Every woman deserves complete information about and access to birth control so that families can be planned and so that every child is a wanted child. I will oppose measures that interfere with the ability of a woman and her doctors to make choices about her reproductive health.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com, ďAn Agenda for WomenĒ Nov 25, 2003

Women deserve access to birth control & reproductive choice

Every woman deserves complete information about and access to birth control so that families can be planned and so that every child is a wanted child. I will oppose measures that interfere with the ability of a woman and her doctors to make choices about her reproductive health.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com Nov 20, 2003

Undecided on partial-birth abortion

Q: Would you sign the partial-birth abortion bill, which is about to be passed by Congress?

CLARK: I donít know whether Iíd sign that bill or not. Iím not into that detail on partial-birth abortion. In general, Iím pro-life--excuse me, Iím pro-abortion rights.

Source: CNN, Crossfire Aug 1, 2003

I am pro-choice

I am pro-choice.
Source: Interview on CNN Crossfire Jun 25, 2003

Other candidates on Abortion: Wesley Clark on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Dec 07, 2008