December 15, 2004


Anxiety Over Abortion: Pro-choice Democrats eye a more restrictive approach to abortion as one way to gain ground at the polls (Debra Rosenberg, 12/20/04, Newsweek)

The week after Thanksgiving, dozens of Democratic Party loyalists gathered at AFL-CIO headquarters for a closed-door confab on the election. John Kerry dropped by to thank members of the liberal 527 coalition America Votes. When Ellen Malcolm, president of the pro-choice political network EMILY's List, asked about the future direction of the party, Kerry tackled one of the Democrats' core tenets: abortion rights. He told the group they needed new ways to make people understand they didn't like abortion. Democrats also needed to welcome more pro-life candidates into the party, he said. "There was a gasp in the room," says Nancy Keenan, the new president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

It might have sounded shocking, but John Kerry isn't alone in taking a new look at how the party is handling the explosive topic of abortion. As Democratic strategists and lawmakers quietly discuss how to straddle the nation's Red-Blue divide, abortion has become a prime target. "The issue and the message need to be completely rethought," says one strategist. Along with gay marriage, abortion is at the epicenter of the culture wars, another example used by Republicans to highlight the Democrats' supposed moral relativism. Polls show that most Americans support legal abortion, yet they also favor some restrictions, particularly after the first trimester. Strategists say that's where many Democrats are, too—the public just doesn't know it. With pro-life Sen. Harry Reid newly installed as Senate minority leader, Democrats are eager to show off their big tent. [...]

It's clear that challenging the old orthodoxy won't be easy. Many advocates blame Kerry for not talking about abortion enough—especially the fate of the Supreme Court. "He did not help the cause," says Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt.

The Death Lobby would walk if the Democrats reverted to morality on issues like abortion, euthenasia, eugenics, bioengineering, fetal stem cells, cloning, homosexuality, drugs, etc.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 15, 2004 8:20 PM

I am dumb. I do not understand this syntax:

"The Death Lobby would walk ..."

What does that mean -- "would walk"?

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at December 15, 2004 8:50 PM

It means they would leave the party and the Democrat coalition.

The Democrat Party has painted themselves into a corner. Their strongest groups are stridently clutching onto issues that 70%-80% of the country is against. (Remember, 11 of 11 anti-gay-marriage propositions won---by as much as 80%.) If the Dems keep those groups, they lose non-radical voters. If they change their policy positions to attract the 70%-80% mainstream voters, they lose the radical groups. Either way, they lose massive numbers of voters that they can't afford to lose.

Posted by: ray at December 15, 2004 10:12 PM

The Death Lobby doesn't walk; it seems to roll around on the floor, alternately spitting & shrieking, and then looking upwards with a plaintive stare while trying to sound wise.

Posted by: ratbert at December 15, 2004 11:39 PM


It's actually 13 out of 13, if one counts the Missouri vote in August, 2004 (70-30 percent against homosexual marriage) and Louisiana in September, 2004 (80-20 against).

There are, and have been, few national political issues that are 'dead-on-arrival' from the perspective of one of the two political parties. Abortion is one of the rare exceptions. Why Democrats wouldn't compromise on third-trimester restrictions, if not outright prohibition, while staunchly insisting on abortion-on-demand during the first two trimesters, has always amazed me [yes, I know that the trimester typology is arbitrary, but the political debate seems to have accepted it]. How many voters would object to that compromise? Without that compromise, Democrats have to defend infanticide.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at December 16, 2004 12:04 AM

Fred: The Democrats will not be able to extricate themselves from the Abortion issue is that they are irrevokable in the thrall of the Sodomites, whose program is to transform consciousness so as to sunder sex and sexuality from reproduction. "Privacy," phony population scares, phony environmental threats, blurring of gender roles, "it takes a village," "Heather has Two Mommies," "safe, legal and rare" are all part of the program.

The reason that this hasn't worked is that, contrary to the queers' Communist buddies hold, so cannot change reality by meerly manipulating the symbol-system. "Gay" once meant "happy," then it meant homosexual, and, in a very short span of time, it came to mean "sick," "twisted" and "inapropriate."

For a while there seemed to be a danger that it might work. If The common run of mankind could be tricked into believing that the faggots were their allies in the struggle to liberate themselves from sexual repression, heterosexuals who liked sex (pedantic curmudgeon humor alert!)might be conned into lining up with the pervs against the bluestockings. It didn't happen that way. Heterosexual intercourse, even when it is illicit or unwise, even when it is engaged in without the possibility of conception is still very much related to reproduction.

The Democrats are in a cleft stick of their overmaking over this. Preserving human life in the last trimester is still recognizing the family value of the sacredness of "products of conception." This they cannot do. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 16, 2004 5:58 AM