Beliefnet
Steven Waldman

Yowza. This is a first. A Democratic group airing an ad arguing that the pro-choice Democratic candidate will do more to reduce the number of abortions than the Republican. In the ad, Doug Kmiec, the former Reagan administration official says Obama’s approach “drastically reduces the numbers of abortions.” On their website, Matthew25, which sponsored the ad declares: “An Obama administration will do more than a McCain administration for the cause of life.”There is evidence that approaches that emphasize support for pregnant moms and pregnancy prevention can reduce abortions as much as legal restrictions. What neither Matthew25 nor the Kmiec ad point out is that there are several Obama positions that run counter to this approach:

  • Obama supports Medicaid funding for abortion. The same studies that show social spending can reduce the number of abortions also show that paying for the abortions of poor women increases the numbers. Biden, by the way, opposes government support for abortion.
  • Obama supports the Freedom of Choice Act. This would wipe out state laws, including modreate ones that merely require parental notification for teens seeking abortion.

Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee also offers this example, which I feel ambivalent about. On the one hand, if you’re serious about reducing the number of abortions, it does look a bit dissonant to have an “Abortion Providers for Obama-Biden” page. On the other hand, as editor of a website with a vibrant community that constantly puts forth views with which I disagree, I’m reluctant to hold anyone accountable for views expressed in message boards.

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