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For week ended February 06, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

For Many, Abortion Is Lost in the Crowd of Issues
New York Times 4Feb00 N6
By Dirk Johnson

LANSING, MICHIGAN -- While every U.S. Presidential candidate has a stand on abortion, to most voters it isn't a big consideration in choosing who they will vote for. Voters on both sides of the issue, including an LDS Bishop quoted for this New York Times article, say that issues like tax policy and trustworthiness are far more important.

Taylor Manning, an LDS Bishop in Naperville, Illinois, told the Times, "I run with a pretty conservative group of people, and I don't think they're basing their votes on abortion." While abortion has always been an important issue to LDS Church members, and Manning admits he does have strong personal views on the issue, he wishes that abortion could stay out of the political debate.

The Times interviewed more than 50 voters in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin for this article, and found it rare that a voter would change candidates based solely on the candidate's abortion position. Many voters simply didn't believe candidate's statements on the issue; they assumed that these statements were simply made to attract some group of voters.

This sentiment, according to the Times, reflects voter's views that the status quo simply can't be changed. "When it came right down to it, there would be an uproar in this country" if abortion were made illegal, says Heinke Hoenck, a retired secretary in Janesville, Wisconsin. "It would be very hard for a president to change the law." Another voter, Tony Harvey of Chicago, agrees, "I'm very religious, and I do not believe in abortion. But to me, all this talk about abortion is beside the point. If people want to have abortions, they're going to have them."


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