Changing the approach to abortion in the Democratic Party: Making “safe, legal, and rare” meaningful

by Lois Kerschen

We need to change the language and the focus of the discussion about abortion in the Democratic Party.  This was the consensus at the Democrats for Life Caucus at the Democratic state convention in Texas last summer.

For one thing, the pro-choice advocates in attendance didn’t want to be called “pro-abortion” because they said no one is in favor of abortion, even though that is the “choice” referred to in “pro-choice.” So, when asked if it would be more accurate to describe them as pro-choices, they said that might fit better as long as abortion is one of the choices.

However, the pro-life advocates said that they too are better described as “pro-choices” because they promote more than one option, and the concept of choice means selecting from a variety of options. It isn’t really a choice if there is only one option – that is a case of being forced to accept the default.

The pro-choice people said, though, that since abortion is legal, the pro-life people couldn’t be considered “pro-choices” unless one of the choices is abortion, in addition to raising the child or placing the child for adoption.

So it seems that both sides considered themselves to be “pro-choices.” In that case, if we all agree that a pregnant woman has three options for the future of herself and her child, then why are we arguing?

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Building a New Party in the Heart of Dixie

by Matthew Tyson

Beginning in the 1960’s, the Southern Strategy brought about a war between the Republican and Democratic parties in Alabama. That war dragged on for decades. Then, in the early part of the 21st century, the GOP took down Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and clinched a Republican-controlled state house and senate for the first time in over a century.

The effects of that victory are still very prevalent today. The Democratic Party in Alabama isn’t waning. It’s dead. Outside of a few districts in the Black Belt, Alabama is as red as the day is long. The war is over, and the Democrats lost.

Being a Democrat in Alabama is rough. I should know. As both a proud Alabamian and dedicated Democrat, I’ve dealt firsthand with the frustration of living in such a divided house. Thanks to the burning rhetoric and idealism of the right, Democrats in the Heart of Dixie might as well be card-carrying communists. The GOP has so successfully predicated us as socialist, big government, America-haters that we can’t even have a constructive conversation without the dark cloud of presumption hanging over our heads.

Our state party is in shambles, and we have little to no voice, but worst of all, we are forced to sit and watch as two decades of total Republican leadership have pushed Alabama even deeper into economic turmoil.

Alabama is consistently ranked at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to healthcare, education, poverty, and unemployment. Our prisons are overcrowded. Our jobless rate is higher than the national average. Even worse, it was recently revealed to the public (conveniently after Bentley waltzed back into the governor’s mansion) that our debt is hundreds of millions of dollars worse than originally thought.

All this under the watch of the GOP. Continue reading

Where is the Modern Opposition to Abortion from the Left?

by Kevin P. Rauch

Within the past several years, there has been a surge of opposition to abortion throughout our nation.  The annual March for Life has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters and every year teenagers and young adults are disproportionately represented at these marches.  New ultrasound technology produces increasingly detailed images of fetal development within the womb.  In addition, a variety of new restrictions on abortions that are supported by strong majorities of the public have been passed at the federal, state, and local level.

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The Pro-Life Case for Ending the Shutdown!

Statement from Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America:

As individuals who support and endorse a whole life philosophy, we strongly urge the Republicans in the House – particularly those who share our commitment to the unborn – to end the budget showdown over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and work toward a budget that protects the sanctity of life at all levels. Read the full statement here.

Pope Francis: A Great Ally For Pro-life Democrats

From my article in the Washington Post: “For pro-life activists, was Pope Francis’ interview disappointing? Not for those of us who believe the protection of life requires more than opposition to legal abortion. To really stand for life means opposing the direct and indirect threats to life posed by inadequate healthcare, poverty, mass atrocities, euthanasia, lack of access to clean water, and countless other injustices, in addition to abortion. And opposition to abortion itself means providing support to families, pregnant women, and children, not simply supporting laws that restrict access to abortion. Pro-life efforts are strengthened by a more balanced approach from an ally who supports human life and dignity.”

The Whole Life Pope

Pope Francis, it seems clearer and clearer, is a true “whole lifer.”  In an interview published Thursday, he said that the Church cannot “obsess” with issuing pronouncements against abortion, but must approach that issue “in context” and must support persons “starting from their situation” and “accompany[ing] them with mercy.”  He included powerful words about helping the poor.  Some people—left and right—claimed he was weakening the church’s commitment to protecting the unborn among other vulnerable persons.  Oops … today the Pope reemphasized that “every unborn child … has the face of the Lord” and called abortion part of a “throwaway culture” that fails to recognize that “[t]he first right of the human person is his life.”  So now some people, no doubt, will go back to calling him a “right-winger.”  No … he’s a true whole lifer.  Hope our society can respond to his calls for protecting life at all stages, and providing the care and support that can make that possible.

By Tom Berg, DFLA Board member, law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)