Local News

Your Voice, Your Vote: The Issue of Abortion

Posted September 26, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— 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.