Skip to comments.Democrats eye softer image on abortion (for election purposes)
Posted on 12/19/2004 10:04:11 AM PST by Libloather
Democrats eye softer image on abortion
Leaders urge more welcome for opponents
By Susan Milligan, Globe Staff
December 19, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Leading Democrats, stung by election losses, are signaling they want the party to embrace antiabortion voters and candidates, softening the image of the party from one fiercely defensive of abortion rights to one that acknowledges the moral and religious qualms some Americans have about the issue.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who is one of the most ardent supporters of abortion rights in Congress, has encouraged Tim Roemer, a former representative with a strong voting record against abortion, to run for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. The Democrats' new Senate minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, opposes abortion rights.
No prominent Democrat has suggested that the party change its long-held stance that a woman should have the right to an abortion if she chooses. But as Democrats assess what went wrong for them in November, some are urging a "big tent" approach that is more welcoming to those who oppose abortion. Democrats say that attitude might be especially useful with Hispanics, a critical constituency that tends to be Roman Catholic and whose majority support for Democrats has slipped in recent elections.
Abortion rights activists are alarmed at the potential shift in the party's approach to the issue as they look warily ahead to Supreme Court nomination fights and efforts in Congress to restrict abortion. But Democratic leaders say they can reach out to voters in the "red states," which voted Republican in November, without compromising their party platform on abortion.
"All Democrats are united around the idea that we should make abortion safe, legal, and rare..."
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
This seems to be the only right guaranteed by the Constitution that certain folks wish to make 'rare'...
Indeed. I guess liberals figure it's a natural right only women can enjoy, under certain circumstances, given the realities of the political landscape and the phase of the moon.
You know how liberals love to squawk about "rights."
Killing them softly?
--just like gun control---
They're not going to be able to maintain this protective coloration in the act of opposing Bush's Supreme Court nominees. They're going to have to pull out all the "pro-choice" stops to keep their base appeased.
Yepsen: Welcome pro-life Democrats
By DAVID YEPSEN
DES MOINES REGISTER COLUMNIST
December 19, 2004
A new organization of anti-abortion Democrats is forming in Iowa. Their goal is to make being a pro-lifer acceptable in that party again.
Democrats for Life is recruiting members at the Statehouse, and hopes to begin building a grass-roots operation at county and precinct levels in the coming months, organizers said last week. Senate Democratic president Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg said "we ought to be a big tent and allow everybody in. Being pro-life is more than just the abortion issue."
If successful, the group could prove helpful in electing more pro-life Democratic state legislators and candidates to congressional and statewide offices in Iowa. It could also be beneficial to state economic-development director Mike Blouin's potential bid for governor in 2006.
Blouin has long been a pro-lifer, but has said one impediment to his running is whether his party would accept such a candidate for governor. Last week, he said he hadn't heard of this new effort, but won't consider his gubernatorial options until after the 2005 legislative session where he's trying to win passage of important economic-development legislation.
For years, the Iowa Democratic party has been solidly pro-choice. It wasn't always that way. The late governor and senator Harold Hughes was strongly anti-abortion. Over the years many anti-abortion Democrats, especially from Iowa's more heavily Roman Catholic or evangelical areas, have felt increasingly alienated from their party over this issue. Some even became Republicans.
The Democratic "tent" hasn't been as big as some Democrats would like to believe. That's been costly, and Republicans have welcomed the votes of these "Reagan Democrats." While some pro-choice Republicans left their party over this issue, the trade-off seems to have netted the GOP more.
(Polls show there are more pro-choice people than pro-lifers, but it's also true there are more single-issue pro-life voters than single-issue pro-choice ones. Advantage: Republicans.)
At the same time, these pro-life Democrats haven't been totally comfortable with the GOP or its candidates. For these Democrats, the abortion issue isn't just about a right to be born, it's also about the right to have a decent quality of life. It's why they're big on health care for kids and education programs and oppose the death penalty, positions Republicans often don't champion.
The 2004 election changed some Democratic thinking. At the national level, Democrats watched as Republicans captured a majority of votes of people most concerned about moral values. "As a wedge issue, this has helped Republicans tremendously," Kibbie said. "I don't want to see our party get narrowed down to a pro-choice party."
Also, in Iowa, one reason Democrats picked up legislative seats is that some candidates they ran were anti-abortion in districts where many voters hold similar views. While that upset the pro-choicers, it proved a successful political strategy for legislative Democratic leaders, some of whom are also anti-abortion.
Organizers of Democrats for Life hope to broaden the debate beyond whether abortion should be restricted to include some of these other quality-of-life issues. They hope to reach out to Republican pro-lifers to convince them it's time to worry as much about health care and education as they do about repealing Roe vs. Wade.
Few issues are as vexing as this one. While most politicians agree abortion is horrible and should be discouraged, there is passionate disagreement over just how coercive the government should be in trying to do that.
It's good to see a group form to bring another point of view to this debate, one that says if society is going to try and force women to bear unwanted children, we'd also better do things to make those children more wanted.
The right to life is more than just a right to be born.
Sorry...all Democrats and those who vote for pro-abortion Democrats are accessories to countless murders...I for on will NOT forget!
"They're not going to be able to maintain this protective coloration in the act of opposing Bush's Supreme Court nominees. They're going to have to pull out all the "pro-choice" stops to keep their base appeased."
This will be fun to watch, if it were not so pathetic. You can fool some of the people...
Yes, that's what the Democrats need, better subterfuge.
Nah, the Evil Dums are going to start a campaign for more HUMANE abortions. doncha know.
Bingo. That will destroy any hopes they had at wooing pro life voters.
People will not be that stupid. The Dems won't be fooling anybody.
I have to go to the annual family Christmas party in about two hours. I was banned from giving gifts several years ago and all other rules are imposed by my sister in law for various reason including the one that we can't talk politics. She and my brother are supposedly prolife and definitely Democrats. I say supposedly because they are such yellow dog democrats and I cannot believe it is at all compatible. My other brother and his wife although not particularly prolife are huge Bush fans.
Then the party hasn't changed it's position. Actually it can't change it's position and still survive, because a large percentage of it's supporters have made abortion "rights" the litmus test for supporting a candidate.
OTOH, the GOP can't change it's position either because of the same situation in reverse. But I think it's more likely that the Republican leadership will try hard to change that position because most of the old line eastern establishment Republicans who are big contributors to Republican candidates and the party want abortion kept legal and readily available. IMO if they get their way it will be the end of the Republican comeback that began with Reagan's administration.
That is so sad that you have democrats in you family. How one can claim to be for good and yet support Satin and his rats is a mystery.
In short, it isn't enough for them to say that they don't like abortion. They have to put their money where their mouths are.
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