In his Jan. 22, 2009, proclamation lauding the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama wrote we must “reduce the need for abortion … [by] find[ng] common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information and preventative services.”
Since then, “common ground” has become the talk of the pro-abort town.
A month ago, the pro-abortion website RH Reality Check, funded by Ted Turner, even launched an “On Common Ground” forum, inviting thinkers from both sides to publicly contemplate.
To date, of 15 contributors, only two are solidly pro-life – Kristen Day of Democrats for Life and Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life – and they have each only posted once.
The problem is pro-lifers fundamentally oppose every “common ground” plank Obama and pro-abortion strategists unilaterally established, which were, in English, widespread contraception distribution, comprehensive sex education and taxpayer funding of the “family planning” industry, i.e., Planned Parenthood.
The equivalent would have been for President Bush to say, “We must work to find common ground to stop government subsidizing of contraceptives, expand abstinence education and defund Planned Parenthood.” Right.
But why are pro-aborts attempting this long-armed group hug with pro-lifers in the first place? Such a gesture can only be seen as a concession. Imagine if a pro-life president were to make such a pitch.
I found four reasons, all problematic for the other side. I’ll let them explain.
First, in a June 21 column for Salon, Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, wrote:
But tough questions come up more frequently than they did in the first years after Roe, as more is known about the choices some women and couples make, and fetuses have become as visible as women.
Reason No. 1: Some of the reasons mothers abort, such as male gender preference, are becoming harder to defend, even among abortion proponents.
Reason No. 2: Post-abortive mothers who regret the choice they made are clarifying there is an aftermath.
Reason No. 3: The advancement of ultrasound imagery has gutted the pro-abort “blobs of tissue” line. Everyone now knows it is real babies who are suctioned, sliced, and diced when aborted.
Writing for “On Common Ground” July 2, Stephen Schneck of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good gave Reason No. 4, votes:
With only 45 percent or so of Americans self-identifying as pro-choice, the Dems need some self-identified pro-life voters to win. …
The argument might be made that in November … pro-life voters switched parties on other grounds – the economy, the Iraq war, Tina’s impersonation of Sarah, or whatever. … Admittedly, few probably voted for Obama solely on the determination that Democrats were best positioned to make progress on abortion. …
Now, one more important point … The Democrats did not win these voters over by convincing them to be more pro-choice. … Dems won them by convincing them that Obama had room in his tent for pro-life voters. He did that in part with assurances that win-win common ground policies would be implemented for pragmatic progress regarding both pro-choice and pro-life concerns.
Obviously self-serving, nevertheless the “common ground” strategy is proactive and savvy. It appeals to those fatigued by the abortion battle. Of course pro-aborts picked “common ground” topics with which they have primed the PR pump to their advantage.
But now the flip side. Wanting to “reduce the need for abortion” carries negative connotations. To be truly pro-abortion is to see nothing wrong with abortion. It cannot be wrong to kill one baby but not another, or one vs. 1 million.
Which returns me to Kissling. Her quote came from a shocking piece entitled, “Can we ever say a woman can’t choose?” Shocking because her answer was yes:
Just because something is legal – and should be legal – does not mean it is always ethical. And sometimes the right thing to say to a woman is “I am so sorry, I cannot do what you ask.”
Kissling listed several troublesome reasons to abort: because a baby would be born under the wrong zodiac sign, because a mother doesn’t get around to it until late in her pregnancy, because a deaf couple doesn’t want a hearing child.
But all these place value on the child being aborted, which crumbles the foundation of legalized abortion, that being aborted can have no moral value. Amanda Marcotte of RH Reality Check understood this, writing July 6:
One of the most frustrating things to me … is the way that common ground advocates try to encourage pro-choicers to seek ways that we can join our more misogynist brethren in the art of casting judgment on women who get abortions, at least some of the time. … I just don’t see the value in adding to women’s unnecessary guilt. …
So aborting a baby who would be born a Taurus rather than a Gemini cannot be wrong.
Ultimately, the common ground “experiment,” as On Common Ground’s moderator, Christina Page, calls it, will fail at the hands of those conducting it, because they will not be able to find it even among themselves.
The process, however, of admitting there is a moral component to abortion during their PR attempt to regain ground will cause abortion proponents to lose even more ground.