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The Democrats Debate a Sellout on Abortion
by Doug Ireland
December 24, 2004
First Published in Direland

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The December 23 Los Angeles Times reports -- under the headline "Democratic Leadership Rethinking Abortion" -- that the national Democrats are seriously debating a shift in their all-out commitment to a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. Both of the Democrats' Congressional leaders -- Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate--are backing a candidate for Democratic National Committee chair, Tim Roemer, "an abortion foe who argues that the party cannot rebound from its losses in the November election unless it shows more tolerance on one of society's most emotional conflicts." And Roemer "said he would encourage the party to eliminate its 'moral blind spot' when it comes to late-term abortions."

"Tolerance"? For returning to the era of coat-hanger abortions? For recreating a new criminal class of unlicensed abortionists? That ain't tolerance, bro', that's a cave-in to the theocrats. Moreover, since people with money can always go abroad to get perfectly legal abortions performed in safe medical conditions, a retreat on abortion by the Dems would be aimed solely at the economically disadvantaged: the poor, as usual, would be hardest hit. Yeah, that's a great Democratic program, alright -- let's torture poor women!

Oh, and guess who's also encouraging the watering-down of the Democrats' full-throated defense of a woman's right to control her own body? Why, that noble Democrat of principle John Kerry -- the L.A. Times tells us that, "after his election loss, the Massachusetts senator concluded that the party needed to rethink its stance. Addressing supporters at a meeting held by the AFL-CIO, Kerry said he discovered during trips through Pennsylvania that many union members were also abortion opponents and that the party needed to rethink how it could appeal to those voters, Kerry spokesman David Wade said." (Another flip-flop--a sure sign that he's thinking of running again.)

Having blamed their election loss on uppity gays and planned to shun the movement for their rights, now the Democratic elite is scurrying toward positions that will reaffirm the right of religion to legislate morality and throw women overboard in the process. Some, like Nancy Pelosi, have already suggested that the privatization of Social Security is a negotiable issue--there go the seniors...At this rate, if the Democrats keep mowing down their base constituent groups in this cross-fire of post-defeat recriminations, you'll have to have a paid-up membership in the Southern Baptists to be a Democrat (indeed, right-wing Dems like Chris Matthews have already suggested that the party's next nominee for president must be a Southern Baptist).

One of the "softenings" of the party's abortion position its cretinous honchos are suggesting is requiring parental consent to have one. That means subjecting, BY LAW, teenage girls of 17, 18, 19, and 20 (depending on where they live) to the dictatorship of parents who are religious primitives -- just like, say, those beacons of liberty Pakistan and Morocco.

Is there no limit to the poll-driven cowardice of the Democratic Party's elite? The Chinese have a saying: "Half the sky is women." If the Democrats forget that, their continuing lurch to the center-right will be a suicidal one.

Doug Ireland, a longtime radical journalist and media critic, runs the blog DIRELAND, where this article first appeared. 

Other Articles by Doug Ireland

* AIDS Action Jumps Into Bed With Bush and the AIDS-Phobic Republicans
* The Danger of Cell Phones
* He's Out! Bernie Kerik's Plea Bargain
* Halliburton's Nigerian Bribery -- The Admission
* Homo Hate: Kerry Loses to Rove’s Anti-Gay Hysteria
* The Last Debate (Thankfully!)
* The Bush-Kerry Face-Off in Miami
* The Democrats Capitulate to the Supply-Siders
* Teaching Torture: Congress Quietly Keeps School of the Americas Alive
* Condom Wars
* The Cheney Connection: Tracing the Halliburton Money Trail to Nigeria
* How the US and France Let the Smuggling Prince Get Away to Help the War on Terror
* Spain Flips Off W.
* Raw Prejudice: The Politics of Gay Marriage
* Ralph's Dark Side: Mr. Nader and the Newmanites
* A Prayer for Reverend Al: Let Him Buy His Soul Back from the Republicans
* Wisconsin's Warning Signs
* The Campaign Doctor: Can Bob Shrum Beat Karl Rove?
* The Two John Kerrys: Will We Get the Populist or the Lord of Special Interests?
* Howard's End
* A Populist Make-Over: Meet John Edwards, the Corporate Man
* Iowa's Lessons
* Nader and the Newmanites
* The Next War
* Will the French Indict Cheney