On the eve of the Democratic and Republican conventions, religious conservatives are studying the prolife track records of possible presidential running mates. Despite increased pressure from the religious right, George W. Bush told Fox News Channel in May that he would consider a candidate like Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, who is against banning abortion but has supported some abortion restrictions. Ridge has signed legislation that requires parental notification if a pregnant teenager seeks an abortion after the 24th week. He also supports a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortions.By contrast, New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, another possible Bush running mate, vetoed a state bill that would have banned the late-term procedure.James Dobson of Focus on the Family told The Wall Street Journal that unhappy conservatives would not vote for Bush if he selected a prochoice vice president."I don't believe Bush can win with a person who is not prolife," Dobson says.Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson also have commented that Bush may lose some supporters if he picks a running mate who supports abortion rights, though Robertson told CNN he "personally could probably accept" such a choice.Most of Bush's other top picks for vice president are somewhat opposed to abortion: Gov. John M. Engler signed legislation in 1996 that made Michigan the first state to ban partial-birth abortions; Ohio Rep. John R. Kasich has repeatedly voted for bans on partial-birth abortions; and Sen. George V. Voinovich, the former governor of Ohio, has taken a great deal of criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union for signing into law a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh's ...1
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