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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Abortion and the Democratic Platform

Over at The New Republic, Eric Zimmerman has a brief but interesting report on the behind-the-scenes struggle going on over proposed “abortion reduction” language in the Democratic platform. A small band of anti-abortion Democrats want language committing the party to measures ranging from prenatal health care to greater access to contraceptives in order to tangibly reduce the number of abortions occurring in the country. And while many pro-choice activists have no problems with some of the specific proposals, and wouldn’t mind language about reducing the need for abortion, they unsurprisingly tend to reject formulations that treat abortion as an unambiguous evil.
This particular controversy has become a common one in recent Democratic platform deliberations, and is generally conducted within the boundaries of Democratic support for the constitutional right to choose. Among Republicans, of course, abortion platform fights tend to revolve around radical proposals not only to reverse Roe v. Wade, but to create constitutonal prohibitions that would eliminate the state role in abortion policy.
Speaking of abortion, I’ve strirred up a bit of a blogospheric debate on the question of why white evangelical Protestants consistently provide greater support for restrictive abortion policies than Catholics. My original piece at Beliefnet is here. Ross Douthat of The Atlantic has responded twice, here and here. Those commenting on the exchange have included Steve Waldman and Rob Dreher.

One comment on “Abortion and the Democratic Platform

  1. dov on

    Issues that deal with pre-natal health, child and maternal health issues, contraception, foster care, and issues that give new born children a fair and fast start, get us past fights on abortion. I have worked with advocates who have very different views on abortion, and with careful alliance building, can be effective advocates on these issues in their states, communities and I hope Congress. It means acknowledging disagreement on abortion and recognizing that the child and mother is paramount. We each go our own way whether abortion should be protected or not. We work to bridge that difference by stressing our commitment to the child and mother. There is no excuse politically for pushing edgy language by pro-life or pro-choice people.
    David Cohen


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