Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should parental consent be required for pregnant minors to have abortions?
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in the Jan. 5, 2004 "IVI-IPO 2004 US Senate Questionnaire," published by the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization:
"I oppose spousal notification or consent [to obtain an abortion]. Regarding parental notification, I would oppose any legislation that does not include a bypass provision for minors who have been victims of, or have reason to fear, physical or sexual abuse." Jan. 5, 2004 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in his July 26, 2005 article "Why I Vetoed Contraception Bill," published in the Boston Globe:
"I pledged that I would not change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it. What's more, this particular bill does not require parental consent even for young teenagers. It disregards not only the seriousness of abortion but the importance of parental involvement and so would weaken a protection I am committed to uphold." July 26, 2005 Mitt Romney
Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN), stated the following in a Sep. 31, 2009 speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives:
"But parents are going to be excluded from Planned Parenthood as they write these clinics [school-based health clinics included in H.R. 3200(4018 KB)] because the bill orders that these clinics protect patient privacy and student records. What does that mean? It means that parents will never know what kind of counsel and treatment that their children are receiving. And as a matter of fact, the bill goes on to say what's going to go on -- comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute chronic medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care -- is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser." Sep. 30, 2009 Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, stated the following in his June 7, 2004 press release, "Herman Cain Receives Georgia Right To Life Endorsement," published on www.freerepublic.com:
"Nothing is as sacred as life, and Cain has pledged to protect the unborn in the United States Senate. He will introduce legislation that will restore legal, moral protection of human life and confirm conservative judges to the bench. He opposes the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions, abortion research and activities which could encourage abortion as a 'solution' to problem pregnancies. Cain is against any fetal experimentation which requires or results in the death of an unborn child. He will support legislation requiring parental notification and consent before an abortion is performed on a minor child. He will work against any attempts to legalize the RU 486 abortion technique and any attempts to make Partial Birth Abortion legal." June 7, 2004 Herman Cain
ProCon.org emailed the Gingrich campaign for his position to this question on Oct. 26, 2011, Nov. 11, 2011, and on Jan. 30, 2012. We also left a follow up telephone message on Feb. 8, 2012. We have not yet received a reply with Gingrich's position as of Feb. 13, 2012.
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, stated the following during a June 3, 2011 speech at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, DC:
"As governor of Utah I supported and signed every prolife bill that came to my desk… I signed the bill requiring parental permission for an abortion." June 3, 2011 Jon Huntsman
[Editor's Note: As governor of Utah, Huntsman signed Abortion by a Minor - Parental Notification and Consent, HB 85(76 KB), on March 16, 2006. The bill required parental consent and notifications for abortions performed upon minors except in cases when the mother's life was at risk, in cases of rape or incest, or when the parents had not been responsible for the minor's care.]
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in his 2011 book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedoms:
"It is now widely accepted that there's a constitutional right to abort a human fetus. Of course the Constitution says nothing about abortion…
If we, for the sake of discussion ignore the legal arguments for or against abortion and have no laws prohibiting it, serious social ramifications would remain. There are still profound moral issues, issues of consent, and fundamental questions about the origin of life and the rights of individuals...
I still believe in the Constitution, and therefore, I consider it a state-level responsibility to restrain violence against any human being. I disagree with the nationalization of the issue [abortion] and reject the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. Legislation that I have purposed would limit federal court jurisdiction of abortion. Legislation of this sort would probably allow state prohibition of abortion on demand as well as in all trimesters...
As a pro-life libertarian physician, my strong advice, regardless of what is legal, is for medical personnel to just say no to participation in any procedure or process that is pro-death or diminishes respect for life in any way. Let the lawyers and the politicians and mercenary, unethical doctors deal with implementing laws regulating death." 2011 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, stated the following in his June 5, 2005 press release, "Gov. Rick Perry Signs Parental Consent Bill," available at governor.state.tx.us:
"It has been a tragedy of unspeakable consequences that, for decades, activist courts denied many Texas parents their right to be involved in one of the most important decision their young daughter could ever make: whether to end the life that was growing inside her...
And certainly most of us can agree, when it is a child making such a weighty life and death decision, parents should be involved to provide proper guidance.
For years we have not allowed a minor to get a tattoo or to receive an aspirin from a school nurse without parental permission. Should we not apply the same standard to such a life and death decision such as abortion?"
ProCon.org emailed the Roemer campaign for his position to this question on Oct. 26, 2011. We made a follow up call on Jan. 31, 2012, and we sent a follow up email on Feb. 8, 2012. Although Roemer's campaign manager and policy advisor did reply to our emails, we have not yet received Roemer's position on this issue as of Feb. 14, 2012.
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), voted "yea" on S. 403(145 KB) on Sep. 29, 2006, An Act to Amend Title 18, United States Code, to Prohibit Taking Minors Across State Lines in Circumvention of Laws Requiring the Involvement of Parents in Abortion Decisions (short title Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), available at thomas.loc.gov:
"SEC. 3. CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION NOTIFICATION.
Title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 117A the following:
'(1) GENERALLY- A physician who knowingly performs or induces an abortion on a minor in violation of the requirements of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
'(2) PARENTAL NOTIFICATION- A physician who performs or induces an abortion on a minor who is a resident of a State other than the State in which the abortion is performed must provide, or cause his or her agent to provide, at least 24 hours actual notice to a parent of the minor before performing the abortion. If actual notice to such parent is not possible after a reasonable effort has been made, 24 hours constructive notice must be given to a parent." Sep. 29, 2006 Rick Santorum