Saturday, November 10, 2007

“Why do you think you didn’t give a speech like this in, say, May or June of 2004?”

Asks E.J Dionne, in response to these recent comments by John Kerry on abortion, and the Democratic Party's position on life issues:

I think we have been guilty in the party and individually at times of being overly pro-choice and this is the way it is and we’re not going to do x, y or z, without honoring the deeply held beliefs that are legitimate that go to the question of the killing of a human being, depending on what you believe. And I understand it depends on what you believe. But if you believe it, I think you do have an obligation to say so in terms of wanting fewer abortions, of trying to say abortion is not good, it’s not a good alternative, and what we need to do is make sure people have other alternatives and other options. That’s where you can find a lot of common ground because there are 1.3 million abortions in this country, and I don’t think anybody would disagree that that is too many.

As Bill Clinton framed it, I thought so effectively, in 1992, it ought to be rare, legal and safe. Rare has been missing from the debate. I think we need to figure out how we’re going to do that, and do it in a more effective way.

I still remember vividly that third debate between Kerry and Bush, when he answered that question on abortion. It was like watching an animal being tortured. I felt literal pain watching that. This is still somewhat nuanced and clunky, but a quantum leap from the fall of 2004. It's much too late at this point (which was Dionne's point), but he does get a lot closer to full coherence this time.

UPDATE: I should mention that for all intents and purposes I am a pro-life Democrat, so I still have some issues with this position, but I still think it is a big step compared to his last statement on the issue.

1 comment:

Q.J. said...


Abortion is a sticky issue that should not be political. To me, it is more of a moral and personal issue. I do not favor government sponsored or funded abortions. If a person wants one they should pay for it oneself.

However, there is an alternative preventive measure that could lower the cases of unwanted pregnancies. That measure is vasectomy. If our politicians are concerned about the rise of abortions, they can pass a bill that would allow a dollar for dollar tax credit for having a 20 minute vasectomy.

IMO, this will help lower the number of unwanted pregnancies. Of course, this will not stop promiscuous behavior, but it will stop an innocent human being from being born because of it.