ABC reports that the group "Democrats for Life," whose title gives new meaning to "oxymoronic," decided last week not to press the Democratic Party to restore a life-tolerant "conscience clause" to its party platform. Isn't it time the party quit this charade that it wants to make abortion "rare"?
The "conscience clause," which appeared in the 1996 and 2000 platforms, at least paid lip service to tempering the platform's express support of a woman's "right to choose," stating: The "Democratic Party is a party of inclusion. We respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue, and we welcome all our members to participate at every level of our party."
But the party ended all pretense of inclusion in 2004 by replacing the "conscience clause" with a statement that Democrats "stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine" abortion rights. And despite the obviously halfhearted efforts of Democrats for Life, the clause will also be absent from the 2008 platform.
As Democrats for Life's Director Kristen Day asked during the 2004 platform debate: "So what are they saying, that because we want to protect the rights of the unborn, our own party says we're automatically Republicans? This has to be one reason that our party is having trouble appealing to many people in churches."
Amen, Kristen. But perhaps instead you ought to be asking yourself why you are still a Democrat and why you gave up in 2008 with barely a whimper. Just how committed can you and your organization possibly be to protecting the lives of the unborn when you shamelessly roll over on the issue that presumably matters the most to you?
Actually, "shamelessly roll over" doesn't do justice to what happened. Kristen Day told ABC News, "We decided not to offer an amendment because we are working with the party to try to solve this issue." What? That's like saying they'll begin to fight after conceding defeat.
Besides, just what incentive do the overwhelmingly dominant pro-abortion forces in the party have to work with Day when they succeeded, effortlessly, in inserting the following language in the platform?
"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."