August 28, 2008
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.
This article is cross-posted from Steve Waldman's blog at Beliefnet.