Balkinization  

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Democrats' Family Values

JB

This New York Times article suggests that Senator Hillary Clinton has begun to strike the right tone on the abortion question.
"Let us unite around a common goal of reducing the amount of abortions," she said, "not by making them illegal as many are attempting to do or overturning Roe v. Wade and undermining the constitutional protections that decision provided, but by preventing unintended pregnancies in the first place through education, contraception, accessible health care and services, empowering women to make decisions."

Mrs. Clinton, a potential candidate for the presidency, also used her speech to take a jab at Republicans who, while adamantly opposed to abortion, have resisted efforts to pay for programs providing greater access to contraception and other family planning services.

Specifically, Mrs. Clinton criticized the Bush administration for failing to provide adequate money for family planning programs, as well as for refusing to approve over-the-counter sales of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive.


Despite what one might gather from media coverage, the pro-life movement is hardly monolithic. Some people opposed to abortion are also opposed to contraception, either because they believe that contraception by itself is prohibited by their religion or because they believe that easy access to contraception encourages premarital sex. But many people who oppose abortion on moral grounds do not oppose contraception.

Focusing on preventing unwanted pregnancies through family planning can help forge a new coalition of liberal and moderate voters who want sensible policies that will reduce unwanted pregnancies, and particularly unwanted teenage pregnancies. Doing this will help avoid not only the severe personal burdens that these women and their children will face but also the larger social problems that are exacerbated by the plight of impoverished single mothers.

But Democrats should do even more than focus on contraception. They should take the opportunity to connect family planning with a more general commitment to family values and sound family policies that assist women who choose not to have abortions, both during their pregnancies and after their children are born. That means pushing for government policies that can help prospective mothers with pre-natal care, with nutrition, with affordable child care once their children are born, and with affordable health insurance. Focusing on issues like these can help pro-choice Democrats make common cause with important elements of the pro-life movement whose voices are not always heard in the mass media. There are many many people in the pro-life movement who not only wish to prevent abortions, but who are sincerely interested in the welfare of mothers and their children, and support a variety of social programs to help them. Some of these pro-life people also agree with pro-choice Democrats on family planning and contraception, while others do not. Nevertheless, pro-choice Democrats should reach out to both of these parts of the pro-life movement.

Although the debate portrayed in the media seems to feature irrevocably polarized and entrenched positions, there are actually substantial areas of common ground in family policy if we move beyond the limited focus on whether to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to criminalize abortion procedures. Enlarging our focus, and thinking about family policy in all its various aspects, is the way forward in the future.


Comments:

Now how are you going to get these young women to give up behavior that gets them their own reliable monthly check, apartment, and something that affirms their desirablility and motherhood? With more carrots?

Have you ever read my post The Tragedy of Bastardy, especially the comments of Janice Rogers Brown?
 

I'm still looking at Clinton's stance and saying, DUH. I'm curious to see if Cardinal Bernardin will get invoked.

"behavior that gets them their own reliable monthly check, apartment, and something that affirms their desirablility and motherhood"

Um, wow.

1) the monthly check is just enough to feed oneself three meals a day and feed one's children dinner (breakfast and lunch being given at school); the apartment quite often is in a dangerous housing project.

2) welfare reform signed by President Bush limits individuals to receiving five years of assistance, and states can develop their own programs that cut people off even sooner.

3) the notion that women seek to form a family consisting of themselves, their children and a bureaucrat's check is so divorced from psychological reality that I'm surprised people are still quoting that imbecility. I have yet to see a romance/ chicklit novel written about a happy ending of life without a man, on welfare -- and this, not conservative literature, is the genre vastly dominated by women as writers and readers. Women overwhelmingly idealize the traditional nuclear structure, and single mothers are no exception, even when their experience has shown them that men can be unreliable and abusive. This is why single mothers will keep dating, keep trying to find someone to be their children's daddy, keep hoping that they can get the happy ending.
 

Oops, that was supposed to be "welfare reform signed by President Clinton." Too many Clintons involved in this post to keep track :-)
 

There are many many people in the pro-life movement who not only wish to prevent abortions, but who are sincerely interested in the welfare of mothers and their children, and support a variety of social programs to help them.

No, there aren't. There are many many people (and voters) who wish to prevent abortions and are sincerely interested in the welfare of mothers and their children. They are not in the "pro-life" movement.
 

How does one enter into a conversation with, much less a coalition with, a group of people one has written out of the national conversation? I mean, Jack's view is that prolifers' politics are so retrograde that they can't constitutionally be permitted to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens to agree. (I suspect he supports the abortion exception to the first amendment as well.) If one can't approach these people as equals, how can one hope to engage them as Jack suggest?
 

If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there
Agen Judi Online Terpercaya
 

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