I am a fiscal conservative and social moderate. The residents in our area have long voted for leaders that hold these same ideals such as Congressman Mark Kirk and former Congressman John Porter. I am honored to have received the endorsements of both Kirk and Porter for this campaign.
I am pro-choice and believe that this very personal and difficult decision belongs to each individual woman. I support access to common-sense family planning and comprehensive sex education.
As Congressman, I will protect a woman's right to choose, while encouraging that the decision is an informed one and made with knowledge of the full range of options, which is why I support parental notification laws, with a judicial bypass when appropriate. As a parent, I believe that our most fundamental role is to provide guidance, support, and direction to our children -- especially in those difficult times when a child needs it the most.
I oppose partial-birth abortion procedures, except in cases of where the health or life of the mother is in danger. Further, I do not believe that federal taxpayer money should be used to pay for abortion procedures.
Most important, I will support preventative initiatives and family planning aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, to ultimately reduce the number of abortions. Preventing unwanted pregnancies and births while protecting the health of women should be our shared goal.
Separation of Church and State
I believe deeply in our country's founding principle of separation of church and state. I respect all faiths and the rights of all individuals to worship without fear. I believe that this separation of church and state allows expression of all beliefs to flourish. The ability to have faith without fear has drawn millions to our shores from our country's earliest days, and we must remain committed to this important American ideal.
The right to bear arms is a Constitutional right for American citizens. I believe we must work to balance this Constitutional right with our obligation to keep our citizens and our communities safe. I support resonable restrictions and believe the gun-show loophole should be closed. We must use the technology available today to work to remove guns from the hands of criminals.
Stem Cell Research
I support stem cell research and believe we must embrace opportunities for breakthroughs in the field of medicine. I have met with many doctors and scientists who agree that stem cell research represents an important march toward the cure of our most terrible diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, among others.
I agreed with President Obama's decision to lift the previous restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and expand the federal funds available to researchers. As a Congressman, I will support this important research and its promise to help us live longer and healthier lives.
Rights for Gays and Lesbians
I believe that marriage is between a woman and man. However, I also recognize that gay and lesbian couples have the right to have loving, committed relationships as well. Therefore, I believe that same sex couples should have the right to enter into contractual relationships.