Steve Waldman reports on the abortion plank in the Democratic Platform
over at Beliefnet.
The "safe, legal and rare" approach of the Clinton years has been replaced with an emphasis -- not on reducing the number of abortions -- but on reducing the supposed need
for abortions. In short, it's a victory for rabidly pro-choice feminists over more religious or moderate elements in the party.
Here's a sentence that tells you all you need to know about the Dem approach to abortion: We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
Of course, it's worth keeping in mind that the formulation of reducing the need
for abortions resulting from "unintended pregnancies" is incoherent (unless one is talking about the life of the mother, and somehow, I doubt that's what this crowd has in mind). That's because there are safe havens across the United States
where one can leave a newborn without being prosecuted for it. No one who's having an abortion for, say, economic reasons or because of the inconvenience or disruption of a new baby is "forced" to do so -- in any sense -- when there are places where a little one can be left, no questions asked.
It's interesting that the abortion plank has shifted so far left -- and somehow appropriate, given that Barack has the most radically pro-choice record of any Democrat presidential nominee ever.