Republicans and Democrats alike support stem-cell research for disease prevention and treatment, but the Republicans would only support the use of adult stem cells, umbilical-cord blood, and cells that have been reprogrammed into stem cells. The Republicans would also bar  “the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes.” The Democrats say they would lift the ban on embryonic stem-cell research—“cells that would have otherwise have been discarded and lost forever.”

In the pro-life/pro-choice controversy, the Democratic party “strongly and unequivocally supports a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion” and vows to end “health insurance discrimination against contraception.” Democrats are also in favor of affordable family-planning services as well as access to and availability of pre- and post-natal health care. The Republicans oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion, wouldn’t fund organizations that provide or promote this procedure, and would prefer to replace family-planning programs with programs that teach abstinence until marriage as the “responsible and expected standard of behavior.” Yet the Republicans do support a parent’s right to consent to health services for a child involving contraception, pregnancy, and abortion (as well as mental health, drug, and alcohol treatment).

Republicans also note that they would restore the Drug Enforcement Agency’s ban on the use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide.

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