Your Voice, Your Vote: The Issue of Abortion
Posted September 26, 2000
RALEIGH — For the first time in years, there is a chanceRoe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion could be overturned.
If Republican candidate George W. Bush is elected president, he could appoint several anti-abortion Supreme Court justices. This would return the issue to the states' control, and could make abortion a key issue in the North Carolina governor's race.
Voters say the abortion issuewillplay a role in the governor's race.
"I look at that when I look at any candidate that I might have an influence over with my vote," says voter Lanie Brashears.
"Roe versus Wade has been around a long time. I don't foresee it being overturned." says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Easley.
"I've always taken the position that abortion is a very difficult decision that ought to be made between a woman and a doctor and not between a woman and her state representative or governor," says Easley.
"I believe life begins at conception. That's my biblical view, and therefore, I think abortion is wrong," says Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Vinroot.
If the issue were to come before thestate legislaturefor a vote, Vinroot says he would support a move to abolish abortion.
Some voters may have a hard time reconciling that view with Vinroot's support for Planned Parenthood in the 1980s. He says he did not know the group provided abortions.
"I should have known better. I didn't know better. I learned," Vinroot says.
Voters say as they learn more about the candidates, abortion will be only one ofmany issuesthey consider.
"It certainly will play a part in my decision," says voter Dawn Carter. "It will not be the single issue that I will vote on."
"I weigh everything pretty much equally. I wouldn't say that far outweighs other things," says voter Betsy Smith.
According to a recent statewide poll, voters are split on the issue of abortion with 44 percent supporting a woman's right to choose abortion and 36 percent opposing it.
More details on where the candidates stand on the abortion issue will be available in Thursday'sNews and Observer.