The L.A. Times has an article today titled “Democrats shift approach on abortion.” Here is how it opens.
Sensing an opportunity to impress religious voters — and tip elections — Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail have begun to adopt some of the language and policy goals of the antiabortion movement.
The rest of the article seems to be about different policy inititatives to help women who want to carry their pregnancy to term without affecting their ability to get an abortion if they want one.
I don’t see how this has anything to do with the goals of anti-abortion movement. Many Democrats and some Republicans are trying to address the issues that lead to more abortions without touching the right to have an abortion. The anti-abortion movement has been doing the exact opposite.
Here’s a part of the article which represents a more accurate summary of what the Democrats are up to and should have been the lead.
“We are willing to talk about anything that helps women make good choices,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chairwoman of the bipartisan Pro-Choice Caucus. Preventing unplanned pregnancies, she said, “is not the whole story.”
The problem with this article is the framing. It makes it sound like the anti-abortion movement is “winning over” Democrats and, even worse, Democrats are motivated solely by political gain. Not actually addressing the needs of those who have unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
But conservatives also accuse Democrats of using abortion rhetoric to sell the right on traditional liberal priorities, such as healthcare funding. Democrats have rejected other ideas that conservatives consider highly effective in reducing abortions, such as requiring women to view ultrasound images of the womb.
Right. Because the issue is addressing the needs of these women. Not shaming them. The overriding goal of the anti-abortion movement is to make abortions illegal. There may be some pro-lifers more willing to except the Clinton framing of making abortions “legal, safe, and rare” but the movement’s goal is getting rid of the choice altogether.
So anything that does not affect or restrict a woman’s right to an abortion fits snugly within the pro-choice movement and is not a “shift.” The pro-choice movement has never been just about terminating pregnancies. It’s about making that choice a choice.