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Abortion, largely absent from campaign, shows division between Pence and Kaine

Abortion, largely absent from campaign, shows division between Pence and Kaine

 (David Goldman / Associated Press)
(David Goldman / Associated Press)

Both Mike Pence and Tim Kaine highlighted their devout religious backgrounds during Tuesday's debate, and in turn a stark contrast on abortion policy — an issue largely absent from the campaign — emerged. 

"I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life," Pence said, describing his anti-abortion stance. "... The very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me. And I cannot [understand] a party that supports that."

Kaine, who is personally against abortion, offered a different perspective. He noted that he and Clinton support the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman's right to have an abortion. 

"We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience and make their own decision about pregnancy. That is something we trust American women to do," Kaine said. "We don't think that women should be punished." 

"We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister, but then make their own decision about pregnancy," Kaine said. "That's something we trust American women to do. ... We don't think that women should be punished."

The comment from Kaine was a subtle jab at a statement by Trump during the GOP primaries that if abortion becomes illegal, women should face "some form of punishment." Trump later recanted his statement. 

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