This is the seventh of a weekly series of public forums on TMB. Watch for a new round every Monday. The schedule and comment policy are available here.

Well, this last week we’ve been having a very interesting discussion regarding McCain and Obama on the economy (mostly between Ryan and Leo — thanks for all your contributions). There is a lot of good information there, for those who are interested.

I’ve been looking forward to this week’s forum on abortion. This is one area where uniquely LDS values will certainly come into play. I hope that whoever wants to is not afraid to share their perspective — and I encourage all commenters to be respectful of others’ views.

Historically, Obama and McCain have been very much pro-choice and pro-life, respectively. And McCain has been talking this up a lot more than Obama lately. Whenever McCain brings up his pro-life stance at his town hall meetings, he receives a standing ovation. Obama has been quiet on this issue, but he’s going to have to address it head on, I think, before long (including his historical support for partial-birth abortion). If Obama is not careful, this could turn into a major wedge issue. But should it be? What do you think?

McCain is certainly more in line with most LDS views on abortion — this is so obvious that it hardly deserves much debate, in my opinion (although some worry that McCain might become supportive of an abortion stance that is far more conservative than the Church’s official position). But the question still remains how much this matters. How much does it matter for the President to be pro-life? For this President?

One crucial issue, of course, is the Supreme Court. The judges who McCain and Obama say they will appoint just happen to be (big surprise!) the types of judges who will be for or against reversing Roe v. Wade (respectively). On the Freedom forum (round 5), I left the following comment that applies here:

One thing to keep in mind is that the two oldest judges are liberal ones: Stevens is 88 and Ginsburg is 75. So, if McCain is elected, we will almost certainly see Stevens resign or die within McCain’s 4 or 8 years in office, and he will almost certainly be replaced by a very conservative judge (depending on how much of a majority the Democrats will have in the Senate and how hard they are willing to fight). This would make the court a truly conservative court — right now it is 4-4 with one swinger. This could have enormous ramifications for something like the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

On the other hand, I don’t think there’s much room to worry about the Court getting more liberal during an Obama presidency. But a replacement of old liberal judges with young liberal judges certainly will keep the court from turning conservative any time soon.

So, if the most important thing in the world for you is to overturn Roe v. Wade, then McCain is your man.

Apart from a possible Roe v. Wade reversal, it is questionable how much a conservative president will make a difference regarding the problem of abortion. Indeed, some have made the argument that someone like Obama might actually be a better candidate in terms of reducing unwanted abortions.

One question I’d like to hear answers to: If you dislike where one of the candidates stands on abortion — what could he say or do that would make you more likely to support him?

Looking forward to a lively (and respectful) discussion …

Next week: Relationship with LDS Church

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