Thursday, February 16, 2006


The Moose embraces a Democratic pro-life initiative.

Barney Frank once caustically observed that ''The right-to-lifers believe that the right to life begins with conception and ends at birth." There is some truth to that accusation for those conservative pro-lifers who reject government activism in assisting low-income pregnant mothers who opt for life. However, Democrats have often been callous to the values and concerns of pro-lifers who suggest that attaching no value to pre-born life coarsens our culture.

Fortunately, Democrats are now engaging in a serious discussion of how to limit the number of abortions without making it illegal. Hillary Clinton has offered some innovative solutions. And on the political front, the donkey has embraced and supported pro-life candidates - most notably Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. What has been remarkable about the Democratic initiatives to reach out to pro-life voters is that it has encountered little resistance within the party.

Now, Congressman Tim Ryan has introduced a bold initiative to reduce the number of abortions. Former Congressman Tim Roemer described it in a column published in the San Diego Union-Tribune,

"While putting aside the debate on the legality of abortion, "Democrats for Life" have developed a plan with the goal of achieving a 95 percent reduction in the number of abortions within the next 10 years...

"First, it addresses the 3 million unintended pregnancies per year through grants for age appropriate pregnancy prevention education. We must be capable of openly discussing appropriate sex education programs, promoting abstinence for teens and generously funding contraception and counseling. Second, it provides support for pregnant women in ways that encourage them to continue their pregnancies such as day care, pregnancy counseling on campuses, permanent adoption tax credits, better availability for referral information, shelters for women and children in crisis pregnancies, support for safe haven laws and better medical insurance for mothers and children through their first year of life."

Surely, the initiative should be able to win the support of a broad swath of Democrats. Indeed, it should be part of the agenda of the national Democratic Party. Congressman Ryan and Democrats for Life deserve immense credit for advancing an inclusive agenda that should be embraced by the entire party.

Democrats should challenge Republicans to put their money where their pro-life principles are. There is no reason that the party should be permanently on the defensive with social conservative, economic progressive voters.

Make abortions rare.
-- Posted at 8:16 AM | Link to this post | Email this post