Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'm a Pro-Life Democrat

Jerome Armstrong gets at the heart of the Democrats problem of framing their views on abortion: no matter how you spin it, being "pro-life" will always sound better than any other description we could use ("pro-choice", "protecting privacy", etc.)

Jerome makes an interesting analogy with the Republicans past problems with environmentalism. Republicans had difficulty overcoming the natural goodness of the Democrat's pro-environment stance with any attempt to spin their pro-business platform. How did they solve the problem? By simply saying they were pro-environment:

Frank Luntz told the Republicans to say that they too were for the environment, that they too were environmentalists. The Democrats snickered, but it worked, and has served to nuetralized that issue ever since. The Democrats said, no you are not. And the Republicans replied, yes I am, I just don't want the government to stifle economic growth through regulation.

Boom. The debate was immediately re-framed over the issue of government intrusion, and Democrats were left holding the bag-- arguing that governmental regulation of the environment doesn't deter capitalism.

The obvious implication: it's time for the Democratic party to become pro-life.

I have no problem claiming the title of pro-life. I reject the claim that my stance on abortion means otherwise. I don't like abortions. I wish they would never happen. But I'm not willing to turn over our most personal decision making processes to a government regulator. That is precisely what would happen if abortion became illegal.

The problem is not that women have the choice to end their pregnancy. The problem is that women sometimes feel the need to make that choice. Addressing that need, reducing that need, is the real pro-life platform.


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