Candidates on the Issues: Abortion

Candidates Rarely Discuss the Divisive Subject

The Rev. Deborah Mero, left, and Maryann Kendall avoid eye contact during abortion protests.

The Rev. Deborah Mero, left, and Maryann Kendall avoid eye contact during abortion protests outside the FleetCenter in Boston during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2004. Jeff Mitchell/Reuters/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Mitchell/Reuters/Corbis

The Rev. Deborah Mero, left, and Maryann Kendall avoid eye contact during abortion protests outside the FleetCenter in Boston during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2004. © Jeff Mitchell/ Reuters/Corbis hide caption

» HEAR BUSH, KERRY ON ABORTION, OTHER ISSUES
itoggle caption © Jeff Mitchell/ Reuters/Corbis

President Bush's and Sen. John Kerry's positions on abortion couldn't be much more different. But they have one thing in common when it comes to abortion — neither of them wants to talk about it much on the presidential campaign trail.

On the rare occasion Bush mentions the issue, it's usually before a conservative audience, such as at the Southern Baptist Convention, when he touted his signing of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Kerry has a near-perfect record supporting abortion rights, although the Massachusetts Democrat has upset some abortion rights groups by saying he personally is opposed to the procedure.

The candidates confine themselves to discussing abortion only before select groups because it remains a highly divisive issue more than 30 years after Roe v. Wade. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.

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