Comparison of the Republican and Democratic

Party Platforms on Key Issues


Platform Excerpts



Platform Excerpts

GOP:  “The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can ‘be deprived of life, liberty or property’ deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that ‘all’ are ‘endowed by their Creator’ with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.” (p.13)


Dems:  “Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing
reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally…that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion … Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights. We will repeal the Hyde Amendment, and protect and codify the right to reproductive freedom.” (p.32)

GOP:  “We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare.” (p.13)


Dems:  “We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.” (p.32)

GOP:  “We support the appointment of judges who respect  traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” (p.13)


Dems:  “We will appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices and federal judges who … are committed to the rule of law, … and will respect and enforce foundational precedents, including Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade.” (p.39)

GOP:  “We support options for learning, including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early college high schools. We especially support the innovative financing mechanisms that make options available to all children: education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tuition tax credits.” (p. 34)


Dems:  “Democrats oppose private school vouchers and other policies that divert taxpayer-funded resources away from the public school system.” (p. 67).

GOP:  “We renew our call for replacing ‘family planning’ programs for teens with sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior… We oppose school-based clinics that provide referral or counseling for abortion and contraception.” (p. 34)


Dems:  “We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care; medically accurate, LGBTQ+ inclusive, age-appropriate sex education; and the full range of family planning services are all essential to ensuring that people can decide if, when, and how to start a family.” (p. 32)

GOP:  “We call for expanded support for the stem cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions – through adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into  pluripotent stem cells – without the destruction of embryonic human life. We urge a ban on human cloning for research or reproduction, and a ban on the creation of, or  experimentation on, human embryos for research.” (p.37, 38)


Dems:  “Democrats support  increasing funding for research into health disparities by race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, geographic area, and socioeconomic status. (p.34) Democrats will protect the independence and intellectual freedom of scientists, whether they are employed by the federal government or receiving federal grants in support of their research, and take steps to shield our scientific research agencies from future political  interference.” (p.35)

GOP:  “We value the right of America’s religious leaders to preach, and Americans to speak freely, according to their faith. Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs, and therefore we urge the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.” (p.11)


Dems:  “Democrats celebrate America’s history of religious pluralism and tolerance, and recognize the countless acts of service of our faith communities, as well as the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution.” (p.48)

GOP:  “Any honest agenda for improving healthcare must start with repeal of the dishonestly named Affordable Care Act of 2010:  Obamacare …. To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to  increase healthcare options and contain costs.” (p.36)


Dems:  “We will re-open the Affordable Care Act marketplaces … and expand subsidies. Democrats will also make available on the marketplace a public option administered through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which includes a platinum-level choice, with low fees and no deductibles. Low income Americans will be  automatically enrolled in the public option at zero cost to them, though they may choose to opt out at any time.” (p.9)

GOP:  “The integrity of our country’s foreign assistance program has been compromised by the [Obama] Administration’s attempt to impose on foreign recipients, especially the peoples of Africa, its own radical social agenda while excluding faith-based groups — the sector with the best track record in promoting development — because they will not conform to that agenda. We pledge to reverse this course, encouraging more involvement by the most effective aid organizations and trusting developing peoples to build their futures through their own values.” (p. 52)


Dems:  “We believe that comprehensive health services, including access to reproductive care and abortion services, are vital to the empowerment of women and girls. We will support the repeal of the global gag rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy) and measures like the Helms Amendment, which limit safe access to abortion. We will also restore and expand American contributions to the United Nations Population Fund…” (pp. 82-83)

This nonpartisan guide consists of excerpts.
We encourage you to read each party’s platform in full, using the links at the top of this handout. If you are looking at a print copy of the handout, the URL’s for each party platform are as follows:

Republican Party Platform:

Democratic Party Platform:

The excerpts above, taken directly from the Republican and Democratic Party Platforms, are provided for purposes of voter education.
The Diocese of La Crosse does not endorse parties or candidates.