Last updated on: 11/13/2023 | Author:

Should Abortion Be Legal?

An abortion is “the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it has reached the stage of viability (in human beings, usually about the 20th week of gestation),” according to the Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion. For more on abortion, explore the ProCon debate.

PRO (yes)


Joe Biden:

“I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion. But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right. Roe v. Wade cut in a place where the vast majority of religions have reached agreement… the first three months or thereabouts, in all major religions. Next three months is between a woman and her doctor. The last three months have to be negotiated, because you can’t — unless you are in a position where your physical health is at stake — you can’t do it.”


Melissa Quinn, “Biden Says He’s “Not Big on Abortion” Because of Catholic Faith, but Roe ‘Got It Right,'”, June 28, 2023


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:

“I don’t think the government should be telling us what medical products [we can use]. We can’t tell you what procedures we ought to endure. I don’t think the government has any business telling people what they can and cannot do with their body. I’m not going to be in a position… telling a woman to bring a child to term that she doesn’t want. I don’t think it’s a good solution. I think every abortion is a tragedy. And and, you know, as I said, I came from a family that was very, very divided on this issue… But I don’t think the government, I think the worst illusion, is that the government is involved in decisions that should be belong to a woman.”

Editors’ Note: On Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, at the Iowa State Fair, Kennedy stated: “I believe a decision to abort a child should be up to the woman during the first three months of life.” To a journalist’s question about whether he would enact a federal ban on abortions after the first trimester, he answered in the affirmative. Within a few hours, however, his campaign staff released the following statement: “Mr. Kennedy’s position on abortion is that it is always the woman’s right to choose. He does not support legislation banning abortion.”


Adam Sexton, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Shares Views on Abortion, Says He Is Pro-Choice,”, June 23, 2023
Source for Editors’ Note: Maggie Astor, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Backtracks on Support for Federal Abortion Ban,”, Aug. 14, 2023

CON (no)


Ron DeSantis:

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida. I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”


Office of Governor Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Heartbeat Protection Act,”, Apr. 13, 2023

Not Clear or Not Found

Chris Christie:

“This should be determined by the 50 states. The issue of abortion’s not in the Constitution. And the Constitution says if it’s not explicitly said here, this power reverts to the states. I would not be for the federal government being involved in the issue of abortion in any way. I believe the states should make the decisions.”


Bridget Bowman, “Chris Christie: On the Issues,”, June 7 , 2023

Doug Burgum:

Doug Burgum: “I think the decision that was made returning the power to the states was the right one. And I think we’re going to have — we have a lot of division on this issue in America. And what’s right for North Dakota [where Burgum signed an abortion ban into law as governor] may not be right for another state … the best decisions are made locally.”

Interviewer Poppy Harlow: “Does that mean as president you would not sign a federal abortion ban?”

Doug Burgum: “That’s correct.”


Kelsey Walsh and Oren Oppenheim, “GOP Candidate Who Backed Strict Abortion Ban in His State Says He Wouldn’t Outlaw It Nationwide,”, June 8, 2023

Nikki Haley:

“I’ve said it before. I think you have to be honest with the American people. This is a personal issue for every woman and every man. I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican Party tells me to be, but because my husband Michael was adopted and I had trouble having both of my children. So I’m surrounded by blessings. Having said that, when you look post-Roe, a wrong was made right. They took it out of the hands of unelected justices and they put it in the hands of the people and now we’re seeing states vote. And what I’ll tell you is as much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life. So when we’re looking at this, there are some states that are going more on the pro-life side. I welcome that there’s some states that are going more on the pro-choice side. I wish that wasn’t the case, but the people decided.

But when it comes to the federal law, which is what’s being debated here, be honest, it’s going to take 60 Senate votes, a majority of the House and a president to sign it. So we haven’t had 60 Senate votes in over a hundred years. We might have 45 pro-life senators. So no Republican president can ban abortions any more than a Democrat president can ban these state laws. So let’s find consensus. Let’s agree on how we can ban late term abortions. Let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions. Let’s make sure we make contraception accessible. Let’s make sure that none of these state laws put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty for getting an abortion. Let’s focus on how to save as many babies as we can and support as many moms as we can and stop the judgment. We don’t need to divide America over this issue anymore.”


Rev, “RNC Third Republican Presidential Primary Debate Transcript,”, Nov. 9, 2023

Vivek Ramaswamy:

“I don’t believe a federal abortion ban makes any sense and I say that as somebody who’s pro-life.”

Editors’ Note: Ramaswamy has expressed support for state-level abortion bans: “Life ends right when … brainwaves end — that’s how we determine when life ends on the back end. I think we should apply a consistent principle on the front end, that’s around the six-week mark that brainwaves do begin. This is not an answer for the president, because I think the federal government should be out of this. But if you’re a governor or you’re dealing with this in the states, I can share with you my opinion on it.”


Smerconish, “GOP Candidate Ramaswamy Shares Views on Abortion, Civics, Ukraine,”, May 13, 2023

Source for Editors’ Note: Ryan King, “Ramaswamy Signals Support for Six-Week Abortion Ban at State Level,”, Apr. 26, 2023

Donald Trump:

“One of the reasons they wanted Roe v. Wade terminated is to bring it back into the states where a lot of people feel strongly the greatest progress for pro-life is now being made. There of course remains a vital role for the federal government in protecting unborn life.”

Editors’ Note: Trump has previously expressed conflicting opinions on whether abortion should be legal.


Michelle L. Price and Will Weissert, “Trump Says US Government Has ‘Vital Role’ Opposing Abortion, Won’t Say If He Backs National Ban,”, June 24, 2023