Abortion as a Campaign Issue
One of the major surprises of the 1976 election campaign has been the prominence of the abortion issue. From the opening days of the presidential primary season last January, both political parties and their candidates have been under heavy pressure from dedicated groups and individuals demanding endorsement of strong stands favoring or opposing legalized abortion. Since the formal start of the general election campaign on Labor Day, President Ford and his Democratic opponent, Jimmy Carter, continually have been asked to define and redefine their stands on this emotion-laden, divisive and complex question.
Most of the impetus has come from groups working to overturn a Supreme Court decision upholding a woman's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion. The court ruled, ...