Why the abortion stance of a president’s spouse matters

Similarly, in 2008, Cindy McCain told Katie Couric that while she is pro-life she supports exceptions for rape and incest and didn’t believe Roe v Wade should be overturned.

1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, was known as a pro-life senator. But she supported federal funding of abortion in certain cases and said abortion should not be a litmus test for judicial appointments.

Then there’s the last prospective Republican first lady, Ann Romney. Alhough pro-life, she seemed uncomfortable talking about the dignity of human life. There were also questions about her having donated $150 to Planned Parenthood in 1994, back when Mitt himself supported abortion.

This is important because it is natural for a politician’s spouse to be his or her closest adviser. Jeannette Rubio is described in the Times article as Marco’s “gatekeeper and moral compass.” It is also important because when spouses differ on an issue of such moral import, it is easy to question the sincerity of the candidate’s convictions.