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DECISION '92: SPECIAL VOTER'S GUIDE TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION : THE ISSUES: What do the candidates stand for? Here's a look at their positions, from A to Z

October 18, 1992|RONALD BROWNSTEIN | Times Political Writer

ABORTION

Bush: Supports a human life amendment to ban abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is endangered.

- Seeks to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right to abortion.

- Opposes public funding of abortion except when the life of the mother is endangered.

- Issued rules that severely limit the ability of medical personnel in federally funded family planning clinics to discuss abortion with patients.

- Supports a ban on medical research using tissue from aborted fetuses and has used his veto to block legislation overturning the ban.

- Supports state laws requiring minors to receive consent from their parents before receiving any abortion.

Clinton: Supports the Roe vs. Wade decision guaranteeing the right to abortion and says he would sign the bill pending in Congress to prevent states from barring abortion.

- Although Medicaid funding for abortion is not available in Arkansas except when the life of the mother is endangered, says he supports repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion in almost all instances.

- Promises in his first week in office to rescind the gag order that severely restricts abortion counseling in federally funded clinics.

- Signed a parental notification law in Arkansas that requires minors to notify either a parent or a court to receive an abortion; as a candidate, he has said he would add a third alternative to allow minors to notify another responsible adult, such as a teacher or religious counselor. Opposes requirements, however, for parental consent to abortion.

AIDS

Bush: Increased federal funding on AIDS-related activities to $2.5 billion from about $1.1 billion.

- Has provided federal funds for local programs that distribute condoms in high schools.

- Has been criticized by members of the National Commission on AIDS for not moving more aggressively to implement wide-ranging recommendations it issued last September, such as launching a comprehensive AIDS prevention program.

Clinton: Promises to fully implement recommendations of National Commission on AIDS.

- Would appoint an "AIDS czar" and a high-level AIDS task force in the White House to coordinate federal efforts.

- Supports local efforts to make condoms available in schools.

- Would increase funding for AIDS research, prevention and education, and promises to speed federal approval of AIDS drugs.

CHILD SUPPORT

Bush:Proposed increasing IRS role in collecting overdue child-support payments, in part by requiring wage withholding for absent parents; would make it a federal crime to cross state lines to avoid paying; would deny any federal benefits, such as government loans or even passports, to delinquent parents and proposes to report such parents to private credit agencies.

Clinton: Was the first to propose using the IRS to collect child support through payroll withholding. He favors "challenging" private credit agencies to report on parents deficient in their payments, stepping up efforts to establish paternity and making it a felony to cross state lines to avoid paying.

CIVIL RIGHTS

Bush: After vetoing earlier version of the legislation, signed civil rights bill in 1991 that partially overturned several Supreme Court decisions restricting affirmative action.

- Backed aggressive enforcement of Voting Rights Act by Justice Department, which has led to a virtual doubling of the number of congressional districts in which blacks and Latinos are favored for election.

- Supported and signed landmark law prohibiting discrimination against Americans with physical or mental disabilities.

Clinton: Supported the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which overturns recent Supreme Court decisions weakening affirmative action, and promises aggressive efforts to recruit minorities and women into government.

CRIME

Bush: Repeatedly--and without success--proposed legislation applying the death penalty to additional federal crimes, limiting appeals by prisoners on Death Row and easing restrictions on the introduction of evidence gathered by law enforcement officials.

- Opposes Brady bill to require a waiting period for the purchase of handguns but would increase penalties for crimes committed with a firearm.

- Banned imports of certain semiautomatic assault weapons in 1989 but opposes ban on producing such weapons domestically or on sales of such guns.

- Substantially increased funding for federal agencies involved in combatting crime, such as the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

- Expanded use of military in efforts to interdict drugs and has nearly doubled spending on federal anti-drug efforts, such as treatment and education.

Clinton: Supports the death penalty and has carried out four executions as governor.

- Supports the Brady bill, a ban on assault weapons and a program to buy back weapons, particularly those held by young people.

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