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Ralph Nader on Abortion

2008 Independent for for President; 2004 Reform nominee; 2000 Green nominee


Supports NOW’s agenda on Reproductive Rights

Q: Briefly describe Nader’s position on the following issue: Women’s Health / Reproductive Rights.

A: Ralph Nader endorses the full eleven-point agenda for economic, social and political rights of women put forward by the National Organization for Women, which includes the following section on Reproductive Rights: “NOW supports access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control, to reproductive health and education. We oppose attempts to restrict these rights through legislation.”

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire , Feb 3, 2008

Supports stem cell research

Q: Briefly describe Nader’s position on the following issue: Stem Cell Research.

A: Ralph Nader supports stem cell research. Through two organizations Nader created, the Center for the Study of Responsive Law in 1968 and the Consumer Project on Technology in 1995, he has contributed to efforts to insure stem cell research advances developed with public money are made available to the public and not held back by corporate or university patent holders.

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire , Feb 3, 2008

Roe v. Wade is not at risk, even from GOP Supreme Court

The Supreme Court justices viewed as anti abortion had three chances to overturn Roe v. Wade and did not. Republican Party operatives tell people in Washington all the time that they are not about to destroy the party on this issue but have to promote the rhetoric to keep the support of the party’s antiabortion wing. [Some pro-choice activists] tell people about my belittling Roe v. Wade, which I see as so well established and so deeply supported (by polls, media, and a very well-connected feminist movement) and which [some Democratic activists] see as hanging by one bad judicial nomination.
Source: Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, p.255-256 , Oct 14, 2002

If Roe is reversed, decision just reverts to the states

On Oct. 29, 2000, Nader questioned all the concern being voiced by liberals about abortion rights. “Even if Roe v. Wade is reversed, that doesn’t end it,” he said. “It just reverts to the states.”

If his opponents were livid before, this pushed people to the brink of apoplexy. As a fine point of judicial procedure, this was undoubtedly true. Each of the fifty states would still be able to make an individual decision about abortion. But for many, this did not seem like the kind of point that would be made by someone who cared a whit about the issue. It registered as further confirmation of what Rep. Barney Frank had once described as “Nader’s lifelong lack of interest in major social causes like civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and poverty.” Nader’s disinterest was no big deal--opponents contended--so long as Nader remained a consumer advocate. But now he was a presidential candidate, peddling a message of major-party indistinguishability.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.261 , Sep 1, 2002

Threats to overturn Roe are “scare tactics”

Nader said he did not think there would be much difference between the justices Gore would choose and those Bush would appoint. After all, Democrats had helped confirm Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hadn’t they? Besides, “You can’t really predict how Supreme Court justices will behave.” And he called the possibility that a court packed with Republican appointees could overturn Roe v. Wade a “scare tactic.” Nader said that even if Roe v. Wade was overturned, the issue “would just revert to the states.“ Just?

”Here’s what happened on that,“ he said wearily. ”The scare tactic is that would end choice in America and I just said that’s not true, but I should have been astute enough not to mention that.“ He said he did not in any case believe for a moment that Bush would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. ”The first back alley death, and the Republican Party is in deep trouble and they know it,“ he said. He described the party’s opposition to abortion as just for show, ”just for Pat Robertson.“

Source: Melinda Henneberger, NY Times , Nov 1, 2000

Women should decide whether to use RU-486, not government

Q: What is your response to RU-486?

A: It’s up to the woman, not the government. This is a pill that’s been shown to be safe in Europe for numerous years. And it’s preferable to surgical procedure.

Source: Nader-Buchanan debate on ‘Meet the Press’ , Oct 1, 2000

No government role; let women privately decide

Q: So you are for abortion rights?
A: I don’t think government has the proper role in forcing a woman to have a child or forcing a woman not to have a child. And we’ve seen that around the world. This is something that should be privately decided with the family, woman, all the other private factors of it, but we should work toward preventing the necessity of abortion.
Source: Interview on ‘Meet the Press’ , May 7, 2000

Roe v Wade is safe; GOP must back off pushing it

Q: If McCain or Bush is elected because of votes going toward the Greens, they’ll appoint Supreme Court justices. Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
A: I don’t think that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned. I think the Republicans will destroy their party if they push this to the limit. They’re already very, very cautious about not taking a hard stand the way Pat Buchanan has, for example. The reason why they’re doing that is because they know they’re going to lose a lot of votes if they do.
Source: Alternative Radio interview with David Barsamian , Feb 23, 2000

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Abortion.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Ralph Nader.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Ralph Nader.
Other candidates on Abortion: Ralph Nader on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014