Monday, September 1, 2008

Both candidates fail to stand up to extremists on abortion

The people who write Party platforms typically represent the political extremes in both parties. This is especially true on the topic of abortion.

(I always like to note that effectively we are a pro-choice country no matter who is in power, this is evidenced by the fact that the most vocal pro-life people get up and go to work each day-year round while there are nearly a million abortions performed on American women.)

Extremes get way in Democratic and Republican Platforms

The Republican Party platform this year will reassert the party’s opposition to abortion. And again it will not allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, even though Senator John McCain, the presumptive presidential nominee, has long called for such exceptions.


At the same time, the Democratic platform dropped language from the Clinton era that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” while Senator Barack Obama, in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination on Thursday, spoke of finding common ground on the issue.

This is a big problem in politics where even in the 24 hour news cycle where everything is supposedly scruntinized, both candidates are allowed to posture on an important issues, while refusing to take meaningful steps to solve problems. If both candidates would use their influence to moderate their party's platform it would send a message to those out in the country to find ways to work together. I would argue that is what happened during the Clinton Years. Bill Clinton maintained his consititutional position of supporting a woman's right to choice an abortion or to continue a pregnancy, but both rhethorically and in concrete ways, he worked to limit the actual "need" and use for abortions. Of course, he could and should have done more including attacking the hollywood/mainstream music culture that promotes such negative values. Yet, Obama is in many ways retreating from this good Clinton legacy. He should do more to put his moderate words into action.

McCain on the other hand is pandering to people who don't want to accept that their extremism actually promotes abortion. This refusal to allow exceptions even in the most heinous of circumstances along with resistance to birth control and other family planning leaves children ostracized and often on their own to make decisions.

I wish Gov. Palin's daughter well with her pregnancy. I truly hope she has a healthy baby. I'm thrilled that another child will be born rather than killed. But I imagine if her mom was more tolerant and diligent in explaining the importance of "safe sex", the GOP wouldn't have made front page news with:

Palin's teen daughter is Pregnant

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