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obama13.jpgFor all his talk about breaking through the partisan gridlock and finding common ground on divisive issues, Obama has hewed to a strictly pro-choice line as a candidate and a public official, as Michael Gerson writes today. For all Obama’s speechifying about the need to seriously consider the views of the pro-life community and the hope he’s inspired even among conservatives to find a way to reduce abortions, Obama’s doesn’t appear to actively support legislation aimed at reducing abortion and has opposed every limit on abortion rights that he’s had the opportunity to vote on. Here’s Gerson:

But Obama’s record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion — a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called “too close to infanticide.” Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed he would not want his daughters to be “punished with a baby” because of a crisis pregnancy — hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life….
Having endorsed partial-birth abortion, Obama has little room for maneuver on the broader issue. But he does have some. He could take the wise counsel of evangelical Democrats such as Amy Sullivan and come out strongly for policies that would reduce the number of abortions — support for pregnant women, abstinence education, the responsible promotion of birth control. An organization called Democrats for Life has proposed the creation of a “95-10 Initiative” in which states and the federal government would work toward the reduction of abortion rates by 95 percent within 10 years. That would be a unifying national goal.

Obama has every right to take the NARAL line on abortion. But then how can he make the argument that he can take the country to higher ground on such contentious issues? As the Clinton folks are fond of saying, is that just words?


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