The Catholic organization Priests for Life has published a free, downloadable 2018 voter guide outlining the fundamental differences between the Republican and Democrat party platforms on social issues ranging from abortion and climate change to religious liberty and school choice.
Without adding any commentary, the guide cites text taken directly from the official platforms of the Republican and Democrat parties as a service to citizens who will vote in midterm elections this November.
On the issue of abortion, for instance, the guide reproduces the following passage from the GOP platform:
We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.
The Democrat platform, conversely, states:
Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.
Regarding climate change, the republican platform declares:
We firmly believe environmental problems are best solved by giving incentives for human ingenuity and the development of new technologies, not through top-down, command-and-control regulations that stifle economic growth and cost thousands of jobs.
On the same issue, the Democrat platform states, “Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time… We believe America must be running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.”
Concerning the appointment of federal judges, the Republican platform affirms, “We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.”
The Democrat platform, on the contrary, declares:
We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, curb billionaires’ influence over elections because they understand that Citizens United has fundamentally damaged our democracy, and see the Constitution as a blueprint for progress.
As the Pew Research Center reported this month, Republicans have become increasingly pro-life in the past two decades, while Democrats have shifted toward a pro-choice position.
While Republicans were evenly divided regarding abortion in 1995, with 49 percent saying it should be legal in most or all circumstances and 48 percent saying it should be illegal, in 2018, a substantial majority (59 percent) hold that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, with only 36 percent holding the opposing view.
As the GOP has shifted pro-life, the Democrat Party has trended in the opposite direction, Pew found.
In April 2017, Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez famously closed the door to pro-life candidates in the Party, promising to support and fund only candidates who back a woman’s right to abortion, effectively making the GOP the only home for pro-life Americans.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Priests for Life is a pro-life, ecumenical, non-profit organization founded by Father Frank Pavone in 1990.
According to its website, the group “represents a family of ministries that reach and enrich every aspect of the pro-life movement, for clergy and laity alike, in a wide variety of activities.”