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Which of the Republican presidential candidates vetoed legislation that would require doctors to provide emergency contraception to rape victims?
These are among the facts in an assessment of the Republican presidential wannabes released by NARAL, the national pro-choice advocacy group. The organization examined the records of 12 candidates—some announced and some still teasing—and though a few have occasionally made moves slightly supportive of women's reproductive rights, all of the candidates received a failing grade. This was no shocker.
"They're all unacceptable for pro-choice voters," said Ted Miller, NARAL's communications director. He declined to rank them.
Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have consistently voted against abortion and family planning measures in national office. Romney and others have waffled. Then there's Rudy Giuliani (still potentially considering another run), who has declared himself pro-choice but also stated that "it would be OK to repeal" Roe v. Wade.
Abortion and other reproductive rights issues didn't factor very prominently in the 2008 or 2010 elections, when the talk was mostly about jobs and the economy. But given the once-again raging battles across the country over abortion rights and the recent scuffle in Congress over family planning, NARAL expects that abortion as a campaign issue will be back, big time, in 2012. "I can't imagine that women are going to forget that in the next year before elections," said Elizabeth Shipp, political director at NARA. "And certainly I think it's our job to make sure they don't."