Michael Dukakis: A Profile

As a Massachusetts state legislator:
  • Introduced a bill to legalize abortion in Massachusetts in 1970, three years prior to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion nationwide.
As Governor of Massachusetts:
  • On four occasions, vetoed legislation or a state budget because it contained restrictions on government funding of abortions.
  • Appointed an abortion advocate as Secretary of Human Services.
  • Keynote speaker at a 1986 abortion rights “celebration.”
Stated position:
  • Supports the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
  • Supports Medicaid funding of abortion.
  • The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) says:
    “As a legislator and as Governor, Dukakis has been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive rights for women.”
  • The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) says:
    “This is the most pro-abortion presidential ticket in history.”
The Abortion Issue:
  • “I support the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I believe that abortion is a personal decision which can only be made by the individual woman … I do support federal funding of abortion services …” – Michael Dukakis

Lloyd Bentsen

Sen. Bentsen has consistently supported legal abortion on demand and federal funding of elective abortion.

Bentsen’s Senate voting record according to:
  • Planned Parenthood -
    43 pro-abortion votes, 2 anti-abortion votes, 5 absences.
  • National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) -
    42 pro-abortion votes, 3 anti-abortion votes, 9 absences.
  • NARAL says:
    “Bentsen has only once voted against funding [of abortion]. On the whole, Sen. Bentsen’s voting record on our issue has been very good.”
  • National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) -
    39 pro-abortion votes in support of federal funding of abortions. 1 pro-life vote, 5 absences.

[The number of votes differ because the different groups recorded slightly different time periods and issues.]

Democratic Party Platform
  • Calls abortion “the fundamental right of reproductive choice.”
  • Calls for federal funding of abortion.

Michael Dukakis (Democrat)

Favors abortion and the Roe vs. Wade decision. Favors federal funding of abortion, and vetoed efforts in Massachusetts to prevent state funding of abortions.

Opposes freezes on government spending. Supports tax increase to balance budget.

Opposes death penalty.

Opposes major strategic weapons. Supports ban on missile testing.

Supports liberal jurists who are members of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Opposes Freedom Fighters. Favors Sandanista regime of Daniel Ortega.

Favors homosexuals serving as foster parents. In 1986 vetoed efforts to bar homosexuals from serving as foster parents.

Open to establishment of Palestinian nation on Israel’s border.

Vetoed legislation requiring teachers to lead students in the pledge of allegiance.

Opposed to prayer in schools. Opposed to school prayer amendment.

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