Abortion has long been a polarizing issue in American politics, even before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but candidates in the 2016 election have taken more extreme views than in recent memory. While George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney opposed abortion, they all favored exemptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother's life is at risk. Out of the 17 GOP candidates running, only Donald Trump, John Kasich, and Chris Christie have publicly supported such exemptions for abortion, as the other contenders want to outlaw it completely and continue to compare abortion to slavery and ISIS. Such conservative beliefs may turn off young women who identify as Republican, but lean more towards the middle when it comes to abortion, so this change begs the question: How do Republican women feel about the GOP's extreme abortion stances — are they glad candidates are getting tougher on abortion, or are they turned off by it?
Mike Huckabee, who has the strongest anti-abortion views, believes the Fifth and 14th Amendments deem abortion and Roe v. Wade unconstitutional, and he said in July that he would use federal troops or the FBI to prevent abortions if elected president. He even went as far as to compare abortion to ISIS — during an August campaign stop in Iowa, he discussed ISIS's possible threat to the U.S. and then said: "Let us not be too smug in this country. Because we have sins to answer for. Since 1973, 60 million unborn children have died in their mother's womb."
Huckabee and Carson aren't the only Republicans waging a war on abortion, though — most GOP candidates have taken extreme stances on the issue, wanting to make abortion illegal in all cases, including rape, incest, and when the mother's life is in danger. Not even supporting exceptions for special cases has pushed most Republican presidential contenders much further to the right, which some staunch pro-lifers appreciate. However, it is alienating Republican voters that are more moderate or pro-choice (yes, pro-choice Republicans do exist).
I asked ten young Republican women across the country: How do you feel about all the GOP candidates' extremely conservative stances on abortion — are you glad their views have gotten more extreme than in past elections or are you turned off by it? Here's what they had to say.