Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Any Movement on Abortion?

Reader Fred Tennedy writes:

“how can you not realize that the Democratic plank is more pro-abortion than it has been? Any “pro-lifers” who think they are getting even a crumb are truly deceived!”

I think that for pro-lifers the platform was one step forward, one step back. The step forward was language promoting policies that will help make it easier for women to carry a baby to term. The step back was the strengthened advocacy for Roe v. Wade and (arguably) the loss of the “safe, legal and rare” language.
But I will say this: I’ve never seen so many pro-life Democrats being given platforms to speak. The opening interfaith service featured a vivid declaration against abortion by the lead speaker, Bishop Blake. The official DNC Faith Caucus panel featured a strong speech from former Rep. Tim Roemer advocating a 95% reduction in abortion. Bob Casey, the son of the man who was blocked from the 1992 convention for his pro-life views, had a prime time speech last night (though not about abortion). There’s a Democrats for Life event later today, and Catholics in Alliance just released an interesting study making the case for a Democratic-style abortion reduction agenda.
Now, none of this will mean much if Obama himself doesn’t get fully behind this (especially given the controversy over the Born Alive bill). He made some positive comments about it at the Saddleback forum. The next test will be whether the campaign actually issues a plan for reducing abortions and whether he and Biden push the idea more persistently.

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Jim in New Mexico

posted August 27, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Bob Casey, Jr. didn’t say a thing about abortion, one way or the other. Just that he and Obama disagree. He had every opportunity to dispute the platform language that Democrats “unequivocally” support Roe, and to call Democrats to recognize the moral implications of killing an unborn human. While Casey was silent on abortion, Nancy Keenan, Prez of NARAL, said Democrats “of all faiths” were united in support for Roe v. Wade. Pro-life Democrats are being played for chumps. The party is now evening calling for federal funding of abortions. You won’t see one speaker allowed in the convention hall to denounce abortion or call for any restrictions on the taking of innocent life. (Those other events you mentioned are either outside convention hall or independent of the DNC) I am so disappointed. I had hoped under Obama we would see a moderate position. But his extremist indifference, indeed positive support for abortion is refleted in the party’s current positions.

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posted August 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

The question I have is this: will we see any attempt to move to the middle by the GOP? Will they try to embrace any initiative that might lower the number of abortions in this nation? Will they consider addressing the economic issues that seem to be part of the picture regarding abortion? Will they address the health issues?
Or will they continue their “all or none” approach to the abortion issue?

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posted August 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm
I finally was able to read the whole report today. Very encouraging! Not only did they provide solid analysis of data to support their claims, but they also offered tangible, realistic steps to consider.
The Democrats have long been making this case. It will be interesting to see if the pro-life partisans on the GOP side are willing to join with those on the left to actually take steps to reduce abortions, or if they will continue their belligerence and let 4000+ children die daily so Republicans can get elected to office.

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