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Conservative Dems Hail Party Platform's New Abortion Plank

By Alec MacGillis
Barack Obama, meet Ellen Page. Left-leaning opponents of abortion rights are hailing the new Democratic Party platform agreed to last weekend by the Obama campaign and other Democrats as a sign of a new common ground in the abortion debate, right up there with last year's sleeper hit indie film, "Juno," in which Page's offbeat pregnant teen character eschews abortion and gives her baby up for adoption.

On a conference call Tuesday, a half-dozen anti-abortion pro-Democratic thinkers and religious leaders claimed victory for the party's new abortion plank, which they said took a big step in their direction by more explicitly stating the party's support for women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term. By doing so, they said, the Democrats were moving closer to the middle ground where most Americans reside -- not wanting to criminalize abortions, but wanting to reduce the number performed.

"There's a common ground possible here," said Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, the country's largest network of liberal Christians. "It's never been as explicitly stated that the Democratic Party supports a woman's decision to have their child, and offers her practical support to have her child. It's an historic step forward." He added, "This plank makes room for people with moral convictions about abortion.... A lot of people are going to find their convictions represented here."

Whether the new language will be enough to broaden Obama's appeal among rank and file pro-life Catholics, evangelicals and other swing voters is another matter, and will depend, the leaders agree, on how well Obama gives voice to the middle ground on the campaign trail, including at his upcoming appearance at the Saddleback mega-church Saturday. "In the end, the interpretation of the platform lies in the hands of the candidate," said Rev. Tony Campolo of Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

"Interpretation" is the key word. Some pro-life voters willing to place stock in the new platform might be deterred by the fact that abortion rights supporters are also claiming victory in the language, which they like for its statement of "unequivocal" support of abortion rights and for its elision of the existing conciliatory line that some found overly pat and judgmental, that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare."

Here are the new and former planks:

New plank:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.

Previous plank:

Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay. We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine that right. At the same time, we strongly support family planning and adoption incentives. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

Several of the anti-abortion rights Obama supporters are quick to acknowledge that they see the plank as far from ideal, beyond even its basic acceptance of Roe v. Wade. They said they would have liked to see language describing abortion as an issue of "conscience," and they did not like the reference to the "need" for abortions. Campolo said he would raise some of those concerns at the Denver convention, though he held out little hope of getting the wording changed.

But Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine law professor and former Catholic University law school dean, said the plank would help get the abortion debate out of the rut it's been in, with both sides entrenched in their positions over Roe v. Wade and too little attention given to the task of reducing abortions, whatever the fate of the ruling. Kmiec, who served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and surprised fellow Catholic conservatives with his endorsement of Obama last year, urged Republicans to join Democrats in supporting practical means to reduce abortions, and to do more to help parents provide a good life to those who are born.

"While the platform still falls short of the Catholic ideal, we live in this world and we pursue the art of the possible, and if we move to protect even a single life then we've done a good thing," he said. "Anything that recognizes Roe v Wade as legitimate is unacceptable from a Catholic point of view, but we live in the real world. Our faith is not unexposed in our pocket, but rather meant to transform the political process as it exists. This gets us beyond Roe. Roe has turned out to be a legal dead end, and a moral dead end."

Presumably those words would not find agreement from many of the pro-abortion rights Democrats who approved of the new plank. But then, that's what finely tuned platform semantics are for -- even if they're far duller than Juno's wry bon mots.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 13, 2008; 12:27 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , On the Issues  
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This is a misleading title. The language is more hard-left than it was before, with the addition of the word "unequivocally".

Posted by: JimW | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Is a DNC prayer leader anti-gay?
DNC Evening invocations and benedictions
Thursday, August 28
Invocation: Rabbi David Saperstein, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington, DC
Benediction: Pastor Joel Hunter, Evangelical, Northland, FL

1. Rev Joel Hunter and wife signed the fl marriage amendment petition defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Who Signed the Petition?

The names and addresses posted here were collected by as part of the citizens initiative petition process and have been verified by each individual Florida County Supervisor of Elections. They are part of the public record.

Last Name First Name Address City State County
Hunter Michael 263 Blackwater Pl Longwood FL Seminole
Hunter Karen 263 Blackwater Pl Longwood FL Seminole
Hunter Melissa 407 Monticello Dr Altamonte Sprin FL Seminole
Hunter William 646 Palm Dr Oviedo - FL Seminole
Hunter Connie 646 Palm Dr Oviedo - FL Seminole
Hunter Nakia 1354 San Remo Pt Unit 106 Oviedo FL Seminole
Hunter Deedra 450 Forestwood Ln Maitland FL Seminole
Hunter Becky 203 Savannah Park Loop Casselberr FL Seminole
Hunter Joel 203 Savannah Park Loop Casselberr FL Seminole

2. Rev Joel Hunter hosts a group at his church that seeks to help gays leave the gay lifestyle.

Among Friends is a weekly small group for. men who struggle with homosexuality and/. or homosexual feelings that want to live a life pleasing to God.

You decide!!!

Posted by: diane | August 21, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

check out BuzzFlash’s coverage of the Dem press conference discussing the platform today: Democratic Party Unveils Platform, Trying Hard to Project Unity at

Posted by: meg | August 15, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

There was no need for this "change". Planned Parenthood has been around to cousel pregnant women on making choices for
years. They are available, also, to teach teenagers abstention. Anti-abortionists have not been happy with this, tho. The zealots have continued trying to have PlannedParenthood done away with. Will this new platform bring any change?

Posted by: AFED27 | August 14, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The core is the first sentence, which hasn't changed

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

My goodness. There's a lot of animosity being traded back and forth here. Abortion is such a divisive issue. And I guess, in some ways, it should be. It strikes at the very basic issues of life and death and self-determination.
For my part, I’m a woman, an adoptive mother, and a Christian. Put your stereotypes away. I’m not a war-monger (I oppose the war in Iraq). Not a Republican. I'm not brainwashed or superstitious. And I'm not trying to force my beliefs on everyone around me.
I simply have concluded that there is evidence to support the belief in a God who cares deeply about human life -- all human life: born, unborn, American, Iraqi, Iranian...everyone.
I believe that abortion ends a human life – and as such is a human rights abuse, in violation of the Conventions on the Rights of the Child (which the U.S. hasn’t ratified for some inconceivable reason). I don't believe that any choice, no matter how deeply held or fiercely defended, is more important than a human life.
As far as the platform is concerned, I do think it's a bit irrelevant. It's a nod to those of us who identify with most of the Democratic Party’s positions, but find ourselves at odds with the party on this issue. So I guess it's nice to be acknowledged.
But in on-the-ground, every day life, platforms really are somewhat irrelevant anyway. Abortion won't end because of federal or state legislation or a Supreme Court decision. It will end when our system makes it possible for every woman to face giving birth with the confidence that she won’t be stigmatized and her child will be well cared-for -- by her or by another family. And it will end when every woman, given that confidence, CHOOSES to prioritize the person growing inside of her over her own right to make a decision.

Posted by: aparodi | August 14, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. First there was that shooting in Tennessee at a liberal church and now there is this shooting in Arkansas. No one can say Republicans are all talk and no action.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they're moving toward a middle ground: A middle ground between pro-abortion and pro-choice.

It's a step on the right direction, but it's pitiful that the Democratic party has been so rabidly proabortion that people sing their praises when they finally grasp that maybe for some women, birth is an okay choice as well.

It puts me in mind of the way parents praise a toddler when at least he got on the potty, even though he already wet his pants.

Posted by: Christina Dunigan | August 13, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

If you will recall, Lee Eisenberg, who claimed to have a bomb and held campaign workers hostage earlier this year at Hillary Clinton's Rochester, New Hampshire HQ was a registered DEMOCRAT. Mental illness strikes both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse


The NYT headline / story you quoted does not state that the gunman was a Republican.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, it sounds like other Republican's are redefining what "Murder" means to them as well.

Republican Gunman Critically Wounds Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Supports a Woman’s Right to Choose:
Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy:
Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

Posted by: Obama's site | August 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't seem to have a problem with abortion when its for his mistress.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

We should stop mass murdering wars before focusing on the small stuff.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Senator's Schumer's new Christianity, per his Democrat plank,
recognizes infanticide as warranted, likened, I say, to the need
of a wisdom tooth that gives a sense of pain.

Senator Schumer could possibly arrive at a future Democrat
plank, which recongnizes that Wall Street is justified in
fleecing the public if regulations do not provide against such.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | August 13, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The unsigned post was mine and is directed at JakeD

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Instead of howling and blustering read Kmiec and tell me that he supports abortion od demand. On this one maybe you were not lying you were just plain ignorant. I suspect that is the case because you did not read Kmiec and just mouth off.

I am wasting my time with you. Your idol must be Rush Limbaugh or his ilk.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Obama "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."

I'll be happy to let the non-imaginery crowd here decide whether I "lied" about Obama's support for abortion on demand in general, or even if I was "foul-mouthed" doing so. Later ...

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse


The lie is " his support for abortion on demand in general" referring to Obama.

I gave my reference, to show that you are distorting.

The other lie is that you are an independent. I do not give a hoot how you are registered.

I am not your parent, I would suspect that you recognize little to none of your weaknesses, your too cock sure. I you don't recognize your foul mouth so be it.

Remember my name because your arrogant being has blown me off with that statement before. It is as disingenuous as the rest of you being.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse


Fortunately, you will never provide an actual quote of mine (last time I will ask) to back up the claims I am "foul-mouthed" or "lying". Have a nice life.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Currently, yes, there is a state-sanctioned war being waged against unborn children -- it took an actual Civil War to stop legal slavery -- some of us are trying to stop that from happening again.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Jake D

You are confused. At the time I said you are foul mouthed, I did not mention Kmiec. Your entire life has been divorced from truth. You are superficial and a sloganeer

Fortunately the will of the people will overtake the will of the unreasonable ones on both sides. Your power is dying for all your braggadocio these is the election that will end Rovism.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:33 PM


So, killing via a war would be the same level of "murder" that an abortion would be?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Not at all. If the killing is JUSTIFIED (even if the majority can't agree) it is, by definition, not murder. I'm the first to admit that the current state of the law under Roe v. Wade made abortion (by the mother / doctor only -- see my post below) JUSTIFIED, regardless of public opinion either way.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:07 PM


So, you're saying that Murder isn't Murder when enough others support the action?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse


Perhaps you are dealing with some imaginery "foul-mouthed" JakeD in your mind, because I haven't lied about Kmiec or Obama. If there's something specific you think I've said to the contrary, please quote it.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Jake D

You are now resorting to lying and misinformation. Doug Kmiec is an anti-abortion conservative Republican former member of Bush 1 and Reagan Attorney General's office. He supports Obama. In his endorsement he represents Obama's position accurately.

For those who are interested in the truth go to:

He discusses the difficulty he had in choosing Obama and why he thinks it is necessary to support him. He handles the issue of Supreme Court Justice selection.

Obama controls the Democratic party completely. Nothing would be in the party plank that he disapproves of.So your representation is inaccurate of how Obama will govern a president. This country is starving for a moderate and he knows it. This working together is not campaign rhetoric unless he has successfully lied to his many non-Democratic politician endorsers who have commented on his integrity.

The thing that makes supporting Bush by voting for McCain is that our justice system has been perverted by the fanatical Republicans of the last decade; our economy has become a short term no strategic planning economy; our foreign policy has become the US is the sole arbitrator of right and wrong in the world.

Yes we must fight terrorism and limit abortions and we also have to stop being an oil based energy country. It won't happen overnight, it will take money invested in R&D and it must begin now. There is a reason that these moderate Republicans are coming out for Obama, and it is not all about him. We must have a conservative party in this country that moderate Democrats like myself will vote for from time to time. The Republican party is dominated by lunacy and the idea of overturning Roe vs Wade is a good example.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse


So you think WWII was "murder"? That's curious. Truman killed over 200,000 Japanese civilians with just 2 bombs (ALL Americans at the time, and most of the rest of us even today, think that was justified). As always YMMV.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

War = Murder

Republicans have already shown they don't follow the laws of our country or international law.

Republicans are the party of death and the dying.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Joe Average:

You are wrong. Here in California, for instance, killing an unborn child is "murder" (Penal Code 187) when done by anyone other than the mother and her doctor.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse


Please point out even one "foul mouthed" post of mine. In the meantime, I will point out that the U.S. is not governed according to Jewish law -- you are correct about the current state of American law, but we are trying to change that -- hopefully, we will get the Human Life Amendment ratified someday soon. That won't make us totalitarian regime (of course, you probably think we are already such a regime just because terrorists are interrogated at Gitmo ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Abortion (and access to birth control) really isn't the dividing issue the extreme right wants to make it. They can call it murder all they want, our countries scientists, laws, and vast majority of citizens don't. Americans support a women's right to choose and don't want the Federal Government to decide this issue for us. Even most Republicans are weary of too powerful of a Federal Government wielding that kind of power over people. If you don't like it, move to Russia, where people seem to like a huge powerful government telling them what to do.

Posted by: Joe Average | August 13, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain war is far greater murder than any other action a single american could take.

Republicans are currently the worlds biggest murderers.

Any questions? LOL

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Good point. I hope ONE of the upcoming debates focus on Obama's support for partial birth abortions, his efforts to defeat the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and his support for abortion on demand in general. I wonder if Pastor Rick will get into the gay marriage initiative we are voting on here in California -- probably not though -- what does Obama's plank say about that?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

You are advanced in years but not in emotional development. I do not have to adjust to your the ends justify the means mentality. Abortion is not murder according to Jewish law even though it is not permissible. It is not murder according to American law either. It is only in a totalitarian regime where it will be so.

You are a foul mouthed hypocrite. I can think of more emotion laden terms for you but this one is most accurate. Your greatest problem is your dominant parent she/he rewarded disgusting behavior.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! Anyone notice the key words "regardless of ability to pay"?! I'm all for reproductive rights, but I think I gotta draw the line at abortions at the expense of the taxpayer.

Reread that plank again c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y!

Gives me the creeps.

"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally |supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion | regardless of ability to pay | and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."

Posted by: Judy08 | August 13, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as a liberal christian. What planet are these people from? Christians, who believe what the Bible says, would NEVER be a part of this smoke screen meant to capture votes on the right. We are not stupid Obama. Your subterfuge is meaningless.

Posted by: Adrian | August 13, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse


Non-Americans (born or unborn) are people. Iraq is a "Just War". Abortion should be outlawed as murder.

Any more questions?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I guess Republicans define murder however it suits them best for the day.

Killing 94,000+ Iraqi civilians (People we went there to protect!!!) is not murder - Seems that Republican don't consider non-americans people.

But 1 women saving her own life by giving up her child is Murder!? No, its a hard choice, but its not murder.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Bush & McCain's war is murder. As you said, it is not a "Just War".

McCain and Bush have murdered 100,000s of innocent people.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse


"Murder" is defined as the unjustified killing of a human being. Look up "Just War" if you are having a problem differentiating between the two.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse


Spoken like a true Charles Manson.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Why not repeal the laws against REAL murder too?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:59 PM

I wish - but McCain & Bush want war too much to stop their wild murdering spree.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars--Iran and Pakistan--by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.

The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.

The Republicans' policies have driven up the price of both oil and gold by 400%.

Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.

The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable to create net new jobs for Americans except for low wage domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital orderlies.

Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.

The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.

The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption, the US sells its existing assets--companies, real estate, toll roads, whatever it can offer--to foreigners.

Republicans have run roughshod over the US Constitution, Congress, the courts and civil liberties. Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they believe that our civil liberties make us unsafe--precisely the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. Yet, Republicans regard themselves as the Patriotic Party.

The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions against war crimes, and they have violated the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of prisoners. Republican disregard for human rights ranks with that of history's great tyrants.

The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a police state, which they have no problem using against fellow citizens!

We must get the Republicans totally out of power, or we will have no country left for any of us!

Posted by: Franky | August 13, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is an important step. It is better if this is not a polarizing issue. The only thing that I could think of that would ignite controversy is if Roe vs Wade is overturned. As long as abortion is allowed everywhere there is room for compromise. This problem should be negotiated, not dictated.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 13, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Why not repeal the laws against REAL murder too?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

From the Barna Group: During the past two months, Sen. Obama’s polling has eroded substantially among non-evangelical born again Christians (a decline of nine points); active Christians (a 20-point drop); Protestants (down 13 points); and Catholics (down 11 points).

It will be very interesting to see how far he goes Saturday to improve those stats while trying not to offend his abortion die-hards.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Many pro-lifers are realistic enough to know that when sides on an issue are divided equally nothing will get done on the issue. I saw a poll several years ago that said that forty seven percent were opposed to abortion and forty five percent were in favor of it. I am sure the numbers have shifted by a few percentage points since then but neither side has enough of a majority to accomplish anything.

We are never going to have a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion and even if Roe vs. Wade is overruled it will be done in a slow piecemeal fashion and states will still retain the right to regulate abortion.

Actually the main supporters of Roe are not pro-choice advocates but are legislators at the state and federal level who are relieved not to have to deal with the divisive issue.

So why not put it to the side and try to accomplish something on other issues? But the meaningless plank in the Democratic platform described in this article offers nothing to pro-lifers and is basically pandering. It would have been better if they had made no concessions to pro-lifers rather than empty gestures such as this Democratic abortion plank.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 13, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse


There are, of course, pro-life women. But slave owners in 1865 didn't "want" their rights removed either. So?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic, I am a conservative Independent -- Kmiec is not a Democrat either -- I simply cannot "hail" the new platform. Too bad that the Democratic Party won't "strongly support a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring" the alternative of killing said child is illegal. "Anything that recognizes Roe v Wade as legitimate is unacceptable" regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, PERIOD.

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Any women here want their right to choice removed?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This pandering is getting to be a disturbing practice of Obama's. He will say anything and do anything to get elected, and then WATCH OUT! This man is an extreme left-wing radical who will send our country into a hole. People need to wise up. He has one big talent--gives great speeches from teleprompters. Is that enough for you? He became a Christian at age 30 after years of being a Muslim as shown by many who prayed in the Mosques with him. He gives his support to his cousin Odinga, a Luo Muslim who participated in the killing of Christians in Kenya. Obama was there with Odinga, his arm around him, and now working to get Odinga a visa to the US because the Luo's lost. There's so much that has come out and more will. This is very troubling.

Posted by: MV Peach10 | August 13, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Conservative, pro-life dems DO NOT "hail" this abortion platform adjustment, the Sojourner's hailed it. It isn't even centrist. But many believe Obama is a "Blair" that can be converted?

Posted by: Spikeaus | August 13, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse


You don't believe that abortion is used in the U.S. as birth control?

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse


We don't believe that abortion can be "ended" by some judicial decision or Constitutional amendment -- just like "real" murder is not ended by the laws against that crime -- which is why we have capital punishment in the first place ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 13, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sounds great to this pro-choice woman. One of the lowest abortion rates in the world is in the Netherlands, which provides sex education, free condoms, free abortions (I think) AND free child care for women choosing to raise a child.

Some of the HIGHEST abortion rates are in Brazil, where both contraception and abortion are illegal, and Russia, which has no birth control or contraception services available (not illegal, just not available) AND uses abortion as birth control.

Posted by: NMAIF | August 13, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

So the "leadership" of both parties want us citizens to believe that they care about the sanctity of life, eh? The politicians who voted in favor of the Authorization fot the Use of Massive Force back in October of 2002 now want us citizens to believe that they and their "Christian" minions have a deep and abiding love and respect for the "word of God", as THEY understand that "Word", of course. How interesting that this same "leadership" systematically supports corporate aggrandizement at public expense here at home and supported and continues to support "pre-emptive" war abroad!

What a shame that these politicians, these "leaders", don't have the same deep, abiding love and respect for the sanctity of human life that has already been born and has to live on this planet which these "leaders" have, in many cases, turned into a living hell.

Religion has always been, and will always be, a haven for the scoundrels and rogues who cloak their own twisted psyches with the raiment of "divine scripture"! These types see no contradiction whatsoever in their political position: they vehemently support the "rights" of the unborn fetus while simultaneously supporting the war machine that perpetrates mass murder and human suffering on a colossal scale!

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | August 13, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

David Brody of CBN News says that he is surprised that the language includes support for prenatal care, adoption, and parenting, AS IF pro-choice persons haven't always actively supported these issues. I have a 30 year history in the sexual and reproductive rights movement, and I want to remind CBN that such organizations as Planned Parenthood, NFPRHA, and SIECUS (which I headed for 12 years) have always supported options based pregnancy counseling for women with unintended pregnancies, that include having and raising a baby, adoption, and abortion services.

Mr. Brody applauds what he sees as a change in the pro-choice position and that it is likely to reassure evangelical and Catholic leaders. No change, Mr. Brody and CBN, but I'm glad you like it. It's what the pro-choice movement has been about all along.

Rev. Debra Haffner

Posted by: zeh | August 13, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

In contrary, only a few Republicans or Christians are totally against abortion.
I, for instance, think abortion as it is happening right now is a good thing. Since overwhelming majority of abortions involved first-time pregnancy, that of the first-born child.
Because various religious texts dictated that the first-born child must be dedicated his or her life to religious service and, since that no longer happens. I'd say let's abort them.

Posted by: pete | August 13, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It pretty much went without saying that everyone supports a woman's right to have a child.

However, I think this is smart politics. The Republicans are strictly against abortion, but they also balk at ensuring quality health care for poor women carrying their children to term. This will hopefully shift the debate from "abortion" specifically to "reproductive health" generally, challenging Republicans to put their precious money where their mouth is.

Posted by: Atlanta, GA | August 13, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Roe v Wade must stand as an option available to women. However, for those women who choose not to have an abortion, the adoption and foster care systems must be improved.

It seems to me many women would opt for carrying the child to term and giving it up if they felt there were safe, viable options for the child going forward.

Posted by: Susan | August 13, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion, the issue of abortion rights really isn't going to sway a lot of voters. The two parties have staked out their respective positions over several decades, and "one issue" voters will go their respective ways. I do think, though, that it is interesting that menopausal women are tending to support John McCain. So, maybe McCain will pick up a few otherwise pro-choice voters from that group.

Posted by: millerroberta | August 13, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't see much difference. Both statements indicate that Democrats support a woman's right to choose. If I were pro-life, which I am not thank God, the new plank wouldn't appeal to me much more than the old one. It would seem that if you are pro-life then there are no gray areas.

I think pro-choice people are much more thoughtful and open minded on this subject. I am glad to be on the side of rational choice when it comes to important decision on whether to reproduce or not.

Posted by: millerroberta | August 13, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I wish no one thought they "needed" to have an abortion. It's a horrible form of birth control. I can't imagine the feeling of an unwanted pregnancy. The thing is, if abortions were not safe, or legal, they would be done anyway, and risk even more lives. Planned Parenthood, access to birth control, sex education. These are the things that will reduce the amount of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

Posted by: biggirl | August 13, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure how this platform plank, assuming anyone reads the platform, would sway anyone who is pro life and feels somewhat deeply about it to vote for Democratic candidates.

Former candidate John Edwards tried the same gambit in his campaign. (before he was hiding from reporters in the restroom) He would say he supported a women's right to chose but that he respected the views of those who opposed abortion. We can say how far the trying to be on both sides of the issue approach got him.

Actually, even if Roe vs. Wade were overruled it would only reinstate the right of states to regulate abortion so it is possible that many states would choose to keep it legal.

Right to lifers make a mistake when they believe that abortion can be ended by some judicial decision, constitutional amendment, or legislation. The only way it will be ended is to convince individuals on a personal level that abortion is taking a life.

So basically this Democratic platform plank on abortion says nothing.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 13, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Americans aren't going to be swayed by the Republicans and their stupid wedge issues (abortion etc etc) and fear tactics (Iran, Russia etc etc) this year. The Republicans and their idiot President W have made things so bad that people are more concerened now with basic things like being able to buy grocerys and paying their mortgage/rent payments on time. McCain offers us more of the same that we got from cuts for the richest Americans, big oil companies and big corporations.

The Democratic Party and its candidates sell confidence, hope and a challenge that if America pulls together it is strong, but when divided by the fear-selling Republicans, America is weak.

FDR led the United States to confront its fears and problems, to confront the Germans, Italians and Japanese, to defeat both the Great Depression and World War II. Eisenhower led a united nation and created the greatest public works program in the history of Man, the interstate highway system.

JFK challenged us to put a man on the moon in 10 years, it took nine.

The Republicans would have Americans cower in their basement with duct tape, or stir up hatred in our nation of immigrants for . . . immigrants, instead of working to actually solve the problems. The Republicans will gin up fear of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction as a pretense for a war against a nation that was not being belligerent with the United States or its neighbors, as a ruse to take control of a nation's natural resources.

It is time for Americans to tell the Republicans that we will no longer buy the fear that they are selling, and that we will approach the future confidently, ready to confront the challenges that face us today. In our time we can see the time when AIDS and other serious illnesses can be controlled or eradicated. We can, will and must change the way we fuel our activities. We can, will and must change the momentum of the increase of, then reverse the accumulation of greenhouse gases which threaten our planet. We can, will and must find new sources of potable water for our planet.

We must tell the Republicans that we will no longer buy the fear they sell. If America does that, the Republicans will go down to a massive defeat.

It is time to renounce fear and go out and kick some Republican arse this fall...or settle for four more years of failed Bush policies under John McCain.


Posted by: astral99 | August 13, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

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