Where Obama and McCain Stand on Social Policy Issues

Where they stand.

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Obama

McCain
Abortion

"I am pro-choice...because ultimately I don't think women make these decisions casually."

Obama strongly supports abortion rights but has also been emphasizing his commitment to reducing the number of abortions, a position that may appeal to conservative voters.

"I am pro-life and an advocate for the rights of man everywhere in the world, because to be denied liberty is an offense to nature and nature's Creator."

McCain rarely talks about abortion publicly but helped pass the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

Roe v. Wade

"With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade."

Obama has said he will nominate judges who will uphold Roe v. Wade.

"I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be over turned."

McCain has pledged to appoint judges like Justice Antonin Scalia, an opponent of Roe, whom McCain admires for his refusal to "legislate from the bench"a veiled shot at some judges' interpretations of the law.

Same-Sex Marriage

"I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also agree with most Americans...that decisions about marriage should be left to the states as they always have been."

Obama supports gay civil unions with all the legal benefits of marriage.

"I'm proud to have led an effort in my home state to change our state Constitution and to protect the sanctity of marriage as between a man and woman."

McCain has said same-sex marriage is a matter best left to the states but supports efforts to ban it in California and Arizona.