Thursday, November 18, 2010
Salon: How to Think About Abortion, by Frances Kissling:
The midterm elections resulted in significant gains in the antiabortion political delegation: In the House, there are 44 more antiabortion votes and six in the Senate. Blue Dog anti-choice Democrats were also replaced by right-wing Republicans who are not only antiabortion but anti-family planning and far more likely to seek hard-line restrictions on access to abortion, rather than join any effort to make abortion less necessary by supporting better access to family planning.
For choice advocates it raises the question of whether President Obama’s efforts to bridge the divide on the issue remain worth pursuing. His call two years ago at Notre Dame for "open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words" on abortion wasn’t much help in negotiating healthcare reform. The major legislative vehicle for expressing common ground on abortion, the pro-life Tim Ryan and pro-choice Rosa DeLauro bill Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act has never garnered a single Republican co-sponsor -- and with Republicans in control of the House, it's effectively dead. Obama's "common ground" allies were defeated by pro-life Democratic members of Congress and the Catholic bishops. Restrictive state bills continued to be introduced, especially in the wake of healthcare reform. At the White House policy office, interest in finding common ground has come to a halt. A promised common ground strategy paper was never issued. . . .