Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Pro-life, Pro-Kerry

Amy Sullivan is Pro-life and Pro-Kerry. She explains why.
Because the real solution to reducing unnecessary abortions in this country doesn't lie in banning specific abortion procedures or sending doctors to jail. It also won't be helped by marshalling all of our political resources to fight parental notification laws that strike most American voters as sensible (Bush highlighted them for a reason in his answer to the same question). Instead, abortion rates drop when unwanted pregnancies decrease, whether through better sex education (that includes, but goes beyond, abstinence promotion) or insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Bush immediately mocked Kerry's nuanced answer—"I'm trying to decipher that"—and it has been roundly criticized in the press for sounding tortured. But the reality is that the feelings of most Americans regarding abortion are tortured. It's easy to stake out a post as a pro-choice or anti-abortion extremist; it's much harder to articulate a desire to respect unborn life and protect women. I suspect, however, that Kerry's answer—particularly the reference to the influence of his Catholic faith—plays better with swing voters than with political reporters precisely because it reflects a genuine attempt to grapple with a difficult issue.

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