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Social Issues
America And Abortion: The Battle Over Women’s Reproductive Rights As The Election Draws Near
October 12, 2012
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When it comes to politics, Americans are divided on a number of things. But perhaps, the most polarizing and heated issue is abortion.

And with the U.S. presidential election now just 25 days away, both pro-life and pro-choice supporters are standing up for what they believe.

Last night, during the Vice-Presidential debate, between V.P. Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan, abortion came up briefly.

America-and-abortion-the-battle-over-womens-reproductive-rights-as-the-election-draws-near-feature2.jpgAs a Catholic, Biden said he follows the church's belief but also said "I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others. Unlike my friend here, the congressman, I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that - women they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor."

Also Catholic, Ryan said he's against abortion under any circumstances, while the policy of a Romney administration would be "to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother."

Ryan went on to say "We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination."

This week, Mitt Romney made his position clear saying "I'm a pro-life candidate. I'll be a pro-life president."

But he also told an Iowa paper that he wouldn't pursue legislation related to abortion.

However, Romney has said he would cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court judges who oppose Roe v. Wade. (the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion)

Barack Obama believes in a woman's right to choose.

Amid all of this, many pro-choice supporters say women's reproductive rights are increasingly under attack.

So, the American Center for Reproductive Rights has started a new campaign called 'Draw The Line'. It calls on women and men across the U.S. to fight back and sign its Bill of Reproductive Rights.

A number of high profile celebrities have signed on and are speaking out for legal and safe access to abortion and contraception.

Take a look.

Pro-choice supporters say they're fighting back against inflammatory comments that involve women's reproductive rights.

There's Republican congressman Todd Akin, who was asked whether abortion should be legal in the case of rape.

Akin said "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin, by the way, sits on the House Committee for Science.

There's Republican state lawmaker Terry England of Georgia, who compared women to farm animals while discussing a controversial bill on abortion.

The measure would prohibit a woman from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even where the fetus is not expected to survive.

Here's England on the Georgia state floor.

And there's Rush Limbaugh, who took aim at a woman who testified before Congressional Democrats - arguing that women's contraception should be covered by health insurance.

On his radio show, Limbaugh said other people shouldn't have to pay for her sex life and called her a "slut" and a "prostitute".

Democrats and Republicans sharply criticized Limbaugh for the comment, and several advertisers left his program.

Limbaugh apologized saying "My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humourous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize... for the insulting word choices."

Among those who have signed on to 'Draw The Line' are Meryl Streep, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Sarah Silverman, Olympia Dukakis, Lisa Kudrow, Caroline Kennedy, Billy Crudup, Tea Leoni, Oliver Platt, Amy Poehler, and Sandra Bernhard.

Here's Meryl Streep's PSA.

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