Freedom of Choice Act

No, it’s not what you think. Rather it is that some Democrats are now talking about the expected Obama win leading to the pushing through congress of a “federal law codifying Roe v. Wade, including a broad preemption clause to prohibit state laws that interfere with abortion rights. In one stroke, such a law would blow away the claims that Roe represents an illegitimate attack on the democratic process, stop the state by state chipping away of abortion rights, and make the prospect of a Supreme Court reversal of Roe more remote and far less damaging.”


Obama has stated support for The Freedom of Choice Act. It not only codifies Roe v. Wade but also includes provisions for Medicaid financing of abortions. (See this Yglesias post)

I’m of two minds about this. Abortion, especially relative to Judicial appointments, is one of the big areas where I think one can justifiably vote against Obama. However assuming Democrats pick up enough seats in the House and Senate next month to pass such a bill what would be the result? I think this would be the beginning of the Republican rebirth. Anyone remember Clinton’s Crime Bill and how that revitalized the Republican movement? I think Obama pushing this through would do more to recreate conservatism than anything else.

Given that one of the big reasons I’m voting for Obama is to get Republicans to take seriously their flaws of leadership and rebuild the part in a more authentic way, I’m not sure I really oppose this move by Democrats. Other than federal financing I don’t think it’ll really affect the status quo in any practical fashion. But it sure will do a lot to reform a party that desperately needs reform.

Thoughts?

37 thoughts on “Freedom of Choice Act

  1. Just to add, I just can’t see Obama spending any political capital on this. Certainly not his first year in office. And I’m sure Democrats are aware of how this would revitalize the Republican party. They remember 1994 as much as anyone. (Note how they are so careful to avoid the very appearance of gun control) However never underestimate the ability of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    As a practical matter I do think our government ought focus on big problems that are critical right now rather than focusing in on battles that are much more symbolic.

  2. Clark, I will oppose this measure with all my might. In my opinion, it shows how out of touch Dem leaders are with average Americans – there are lots of relatively conservative and/or moderates who are voting for Obama because the Republicans have not been acting like Republicans, but this does not mean they aren’t conflicted on abortion. There is a ballot initiative in CO defining life as beginning at conception – I wouldn’t be surprised if it passed even if Obama wins in CO.

    I try to be optimistic and hope that if Obama wins and people begin to see the radical Dem agenda for this country we will swing back the way we did in 1994. In the meantime, I hope not too much damage is done.

    By the way, I thought Harry Reid was “pro-life?”. What a joke. The worst national Mormon politician in history strikes again.

  3. While I’m opposed to abortion I find the idea of a ballot initiative defining life as starting at conception amazingly distasteful. Reminds me of the old joke about getting a legislature to define the value of G (gravity).

  4. There is a ballot initiative in CO defining life as beginning at conception – I wouldn’t be surprised if it passed even if Obama wins in CO.

    Three thoughts:

    (1) Colorado law cannot trump federal law on this issue, and since Roe v. Wade is the law right now, the initiative in Colorado will unenforceable.

    (2) Such an initiative could have unintended consequences, including banning of some forms of birth control. For example, hormonal contraceptives (“The Pill”) and IUDs primarily work by preventing fertilization, they also have a secondary effect of preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. An enforceable “life begins at conception” law could see these methods of birth control outlawed.

    (3) At this point, the question of Obama winning Colorado is not “if,” but “when.” He’s ahead there 6 to 10 points according to the two surveys done there this month. FiveThirtyEight.com currently gives McCain only a 7% chance of taking the state (which is only slightly higher than his 6.2% chance of winning the overall election, based on Electoral College analysis).

  5. Sadly Mike, many abortion foes also really, really hate after the fact birth control. Having used such pills ourselves I clearly don’t see them as having any connection to abortion. But yeah, I see the folks who go too focused on “life begins at conception” making some scary moves.

  6. Mike/Clark, I think we pretty much agree on the “life begins at conception” amednment and on McCain’s current chances in CO. My only point is that there are a LOT of people voting for 0bama who don’t necessarily agree with his hard-line pro-abortion position. My neighbor is one – he’s voting for Republicans for senate and house and in local races, and he is voting for the amendment saying life begins on conception – but he says he is probably voting for obama to send a protest vote to national republicans. His reasoning is that even tho he doesn’t think life begins at conception he wants to send a protest vote on the abortion issue. Again, I think a lot of Coloradans agree with him.

  7. “Given that one of the big reasons I’m voting for Obama is to get Republicans to take seriously their flaws of leadership and rebuild the part in a more authentic way,”

    So you want the Republicans to rebuild around an abortion-focused rallying point? Is that really what you want the Republican party to stand for: anti-abortion/pro-life? I can’t see how that focus would improve its leadership in any other area (economics, foreign policy, etc.).

    No, I think this would be terrible for the Republicans because it would force them even further into becoming the Christian Conservative Party. (It’d be bad for the Dems too, don’t get me wrong.)

  8. No more than I thought the Contract with America was just about gun rights or health care. What is needed is something to get Republicans thinking in terms of ideas and saying something positive.

    While some see the rise of abortion as an issue what tended to push the Republicans to focus overly much on religious social issues the fact is it also provided a degree of unity such that Reagan could come on the scene. (Or Gingrich in 1994 although Gingrich blew it on numerous levels)

  9. The major problem we face during campaign seasons are those who play to the extreme positions. Democrats may have a “hard-line pro-abortion position”, but much of the Republican opposition has a “hard-line anti-abortion position” that wants to outlaw virtually all abortions.

    McCain is something of an exception to that, but his choice of Palin boosts his anti-Roe cred and panders to the under-no-circumstances crowd.

    It’s been often said that the vast majority in the middle wants abortion safe, legal, and rare. Obama is the one preaching that message this cycle. Republicans must kowtow to the evangelical base, which makes it impossible for them to have a platform that deals with reality.

  10. 1. I would be surprised if either Obama or the democrats in Congress moved on this bill. Part of Obama’s and the party’s more recent success, in my judgment, has come be being more accommodating to social conservatives like me, Doug Kmiec, Senator Bob Casey, and others.

    2. I am not sure what clause of the Constitution would empower Congress to pass such a bill. If the Court were conservative enough to reverse Roe v. Wade, it would likely, in my view, be conservative enough to find the Freedom of Choice bill to be without constitutional authority.

    3. Geoff, I missed the reason why you do not consider Reid pro-life. The Yglesia’s post include a number of comments observing that Reid (along with several other democrats) would vote against the proposed bill.

  11. DavidH, if the Dem leadership pushes this bill, that means Harry Reid as House Majority Leader. If he were really pro-life, he would do everything possible to try to squash it. The reality is that Harry has been taken captive by the radicals among the Dems and re-hashes their talking points endlessly. (One small example: if Harry Reid really were pro-life, he would favor different kinds of judges than he favors — he only likes the most radical leftists).

    This does not necessarily mean the Dems may actually push this bill. I agree with those who treat this with some skepticism. It would be a big distraction and get in the way of the “raise taxes, formulate huge new spending programs, approve radical leftist judges, squash free trade agreements and surrender-in-Iraq” parts of their platform.

  12. “In the meantime, I hope not too much damage is done.”

    Such a sentiment, given the last eight years, would seem to me to be just about as out of touch with average Americans as it’s possible to be.

  13. Bill, you’re correct, of course. We often forget how much damage the Dems in Congress have already done (Fannie and Freddie, supporting ACORN, trying to renew the Fairness Doctrine, blocking free trade agreements, blocking judges, etc).

  14. David, to your (2), the conservative argument against Roe v Wade is that it used a special kind of right to privacy that simply isn’t a right. If Roe v Wade was overturned then it would go to the legislature to decide. So the Democrats are in effect accepting the conservative argument against Roe v. Wade (if only in an “as if” sort of way) and saying it is a legislative and not judicial issue.

    I’d be surprised if Obama moved on this simply because there are other issues more important to him. Plus it is ultimately a political loser. I simply don’t see Obama as being more accommodating of social conservatives. He’s moved to the middle ground somewhat the last four months. But more in fiscal and libertarian issues and not social conservative issues. Maybe I’m wrong in that but I can’t think off hand what issues of interest to social conservatives he’s accepted. Certainly not gay marriage or abortion. The best you can say is he’s been pro-ROTC on various traditional liberal colleges. I’m not sure that’s a social conservative issue though.

    I’m curious as to Geoff on Reid as well. I don’t like Reid but I think he’s been fairly pro-life as long as I can remember. Maybe not as rabidly on some issues as others.

  15. Some Catholic food for thought on the abortion issue:

    Excerpts from Bishop Jaime Soto’s keynote speech to the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 18 as published on the web site of the Diocese of Sacramento.

    In the sixteenth chapter of Matthew…Jesus begins to lay out for his disciples the pending passion and death that awaits him in Jerusalem. Simon Peter is a little put off by the subject of Jesus’ conversation concerning the suffering that awaits him. He tries to persuade the Lord that this is not a good idea for him or for his followers. What Jesus described was not the cruise for which Simon Peter had signed up. When Simon Peter first responded to the Lord’s invitation to come follow him, this was not on the itinerary.

    Jesus says “no” to his friend, Simon Peter, in no uncertain terms, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do….

    We can easily give in to the temptation to go along in order to get along. We can easily be duped by the popular ideas and trends that surround us. “Everybody does it” can become reason enough to think it or do it ourselves. Like Peter we can think that what Jesus teaches us is too unrealistic, too unreasonable. Like Peter we can convince ourselves that we know better than the Lord….

    Like Jesus, in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew that I cited, we are saying a strong “no” to the California courts and to many who support the court’s wrong-headed decision. This “no” is not rooted in bigotry or bias. It is firmly rooted in a greater “yes” to a truer, more authentic appreciation of love’s calling and love’s design for the human heart….

    Sexuality, then, as part of our human nature only dignifies and liberates us when we begin to love in harmony with God’s love and God’s wisdom for us. Chastity as a virtue is the path that brings us to that harmony with God’s wisdom and love. Chastity moves us beyond one’s desire to what God wills for each one of us. Chastity is love’s journey on the path of “ascent, renunciation, purification and healing.” Chastity is the understanding that it is not all about me or about us. We act always under God’s gaze. Desire tempered and tested by “renunciation, purification, and healing” can lead us to God’s design.

    This is true for all of us. It is also true for men and women who are homosexual. We are called to live and love in a manner that brings us into respectful, chaste relationships with one another and an intimate relationship with God. We should be an instrument of God’s love for one another. Let me be clear here. Sexual intercourse, outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, can be alluring and intoxicating but it will not lead to that liberating journey of true self-discovery and an authentic discovery of God. For that reason, it is sinful. Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all. For this reason, it is sinful….

    This is a hard message today. It is the still the right message. It will unsettle and disturb many of our brothers and sisters, just as Peter was unsettled and put off by the stern rebuke of his master and good friend, the Lord Jesus….Peter would not only continue to follow the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem. Despite his many failings and foibles, he would eventually choose to love as Jesus loved him. He would die as martyr’s death in Rome, giving himself completely for the one who loved him so dearly.

    Excerpts from “Our Moral Responsibility as Catholic Citizens”
    Joint Pastoral Letter – September 8, 2008
    Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
    Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph

    There are…some issues that always involve doing evil, such as legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and ‘marriages,’ repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research. A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions. To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils because he or she supports these evils is to participate in a grave moral evil. It can never be justified….we may be confronted with a voting choice between two candidates who support abortion, though one may favor some limitations on it, or he or she may oppose public funding for abortion. In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm. We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely….

    Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason.

  16. Geoff, how are they calculating that figure for Reid? Honest question. There was a PDF supposedly giving the whole report but clicking on it gave a “file not found” error. As you well know most of these checklists depend upon the types of bills in congress.

  17. 1. The 2005 report for NARAL would not open for me, so I do not know on what basis it gave Senator Reid (majority leader of the Senate) a 100% rating. I do know that Right to Life (of which I am a members of my state chapter) gave him a 50% rating for 2005-2006. http://capwiz.com/nrlc/scorecard.xc?chamber=S&state=US&session=109&x=11&y=12

    Right to Life penalized Reid, because he voted in favor of stem cell research (as did both LDS republican senators from Utah), and because he did not vote to defund all overseas organizations that Right to Life characterized as pro-abortion.

    It is odd that Reid could receive a 100% rating from NARAL and a 50% rating from Right to Life.

    2. Overturning Roe v. Wade would not, of itself, authorize the U.S. Congress to regulate abortion. Abortion has historically been regulated by the states (generally through their legislatures). In recent years, conservatives on the Court have been less generous than liberals in construing Congress’ powers, vis a vis the states. Thus, if Congress attempted to regulate abortion, or prevent states from regulating abortion, it would not surprise me if the same justices that would vote to overturn Roe v Wade would also vote to invalidate the Freedom of Choice Act as beyond Congress’ constitutional authority (but within the states’ authority).

  18. Geoff, the question of the post is whether or not the party of Abramoff will be able to reform itself sufficiently to take advantage of a possible overreach by Democrats. If the rest of the party remains as deep in denial as you seem to be about what it has become, I doubt that it will.

  19. What has Reid actually done to deserve the hatred of people who are pro-life?
    I get it. He’s a democrat. Some people will always hate him for this.
    And he likes liberal judges. Big surprise there. Someone has to balance Thomas and the other six conservative judges out.
    I consider myself pro-life, but, like Reid, there are many republican takes that I abhor. I believe democrats will handle many things in a more Christ-like manner.
    Realize also that Palin would like to make abortions illegal even if rape or incest is involved.
    Compare this to what the church recommends.
    Neither Obama nor Palin agree with the church on this one.

  20. Reid is a faithless, untrustworthy piece of scum. I would never shake his hand and if someone asked for a sustaining vote for him and I was present I would oppose him.

  21. “Reid is a faithless, untrustworthy piece of scum. I would never shake his hand and if someone asked for a sustaining vote for him and I was present I would oppose him.”
    Are you being sarcastic, or serious? If serious, please provide something that actually has substance. Calling him names doesn’t cut it.

  22. Just for the record, I strongly oppose Harry Reid politically, but from everything I have heard he is a good, faithful member and a good family man who believes in the Savior, the prophet and the Church. I would welcome him with open arms in my High Priest’s group and would easily sustain him.

    If I lived in Nevada, I would never vote for him over the available opponents that I have heard of. It is conceivable, of course, that the Republicans or Libertarians could put up an opponent even worse that Harry Reid, in which case I would vote for him.

  23. Geoff B-
    Thanks for your words.
    I really dislike most of Romney’s political views, and I didn’t vote for him, but I would be happy to meet him, shake his hands, and even be friends with him if the opportunity arose. I would certainly welcome him to my ward and sustain him in any church calling.

  24. Someone has to balance Thomas and the other six conservative judges out.

    Umm. Six other conservative judges??? Who are you thinking of. Kennedy has always been a moderate with conservative leanings. Souter is a center left moderate. Thomas, Alito, and Roberts are conservative. But that’s 3. Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyers are all liberal.

  25. Seven of them were appointed by Republican presidents. Only two were appointed by Democrat presidents.
    Stevens was appointed by Nixon (to a lower court) and by Ford (to the Supreme Court). He may have some liberal leanings, but he was appointed by Republicans.
    Souter was appointed by the first Bush.
    So I was going off of how the judges were appointed.
    You are right that some of those judges now lean to the left a bit more.
    And you forgot one–Scalia–who is conservative.
    Any way you look at it the court is more conservative than liberal, although by your method not by much.

  26. Tim, I have read a lot from Court observers on the left and right, and I would say that, in general, most respected observers see the court with four liberal members, four conservatives and one in the middle with conservative leanings (Kennedy).

    So, by definition the court is more conservative now that it was, say, 10 years ago, but it is not a hugely, overwhelmingly conservative court. If McCain were true to his word and appointed a conservative like Roberts to replace Ginsburg, who it is rumored wants to retire, then it would be more conservative. That is what it would take for Roe V Wade to even be considered to be over-turned.

    Interestingly, the two judges appointed by Dems have been reliably liberal while there has been a long, long line of judges like Souter and Stevens who were supposedly conservative and then turned out to be liberals once they get on the court.

    So, based on history, we can assume that anybody Obama appoints is almost certainly likely to be liberal, whereas anybody McCain appoints is a crap-shoot. This is why conservatives are so nervous about the court.

  27. geoff it is McCain who is out of touch with the people ,and by the way were is bush ? why isent he backing mccain ? RAEOFHEAVEN

  28. Geoff,

    Clark, you’re a bit behind the times. There was a time when Harry Reid had a 29 percent rating from NARAL (the primary pro-abortion lobbying group). That’s out of 100 percent.

    Today, Harry Reid has a 100 percent rating:

    Whatever can be said about Reid’s pro-life/pro-choice stance, you are misrepresenting his record. You’re giving the impression that Reid has slowly gravitated towards a pro-choice position, when in reality he is all over the map year after year.

    Check out Reid’s history of ratings from abortion groups on Project Vote Smart. Notice how in 2001 Reid got 100% from NARAL, ,followed by the 29% rating (in 2003) that you cited. This same contrast occurs in 2004 and 2005, where Reid received 20% followed by 100%. In 1999 his NARAL rating was a mere 5%. Reid also has 100% ratings from Democrats for Life as well as many other moderately high ratings from pro-life organizations.

    Bottom line: Either Reid is truly erratic when it comes to abortion (I grant this possibility — I’m not an expert on the details of why these ratings are given) or there are major differences from year to year on why NARAL and other ratings are given. I’d say this second possibility is far more likely. If there are only, say, 2-3 relatively moderate positions that NARAL and Reid see eye to eye on, that’s all it would take for a 100% rating. Also, for what it’s worth, in his recent forum at BYU, he presented himself as his own man regarding abortion and his fellow Democrats have learned to leave him alone on the issue.

  29. Dennis, good, substantive, informative comment. Thanks.

    Regarding Harry Reid’s ratings from NARAL and other organizations, I hope we can agree that he is not 100 percent pro-life like somebody like Brownback of Santorum (back in the day). We can all probably agree he is somewhere in between the radical left of the Dems and the radical right of the Republicans. So, if you choose to categorize that as “pro-life” at least partly because Harry describes himself that way, there’s not much I can do to convince you otherwise. Personally, I see him as more on the “pro-choice” side.

    To return to the original point of this post, and to consider Mormon Harry Reid in context (this is, after all, a Mormon board), I think the two most relevant measures of whether he is pro-life or not are: 1)what kinds of judges does he support and 2)what will he do regarding legislation like the “Freedom of Choice Act” that are likely to come up in some form or another in the next year or so.

    On the issue of judges, he has been very clear that he approves “pro-choice” meaning pro-abortion rights judges. Nobody can dispute that — he has said it on dozens of occasions and in dozens of ways. On the issue of legislation, he has an interesting role as the majority leader. If he were really pro-life, he would do everything possible to squash pro-choice legislation. I haven’t seen any evidence that he has done this thus far, and we shall see what he does in 2009. If I were a betting man, I would bet he will do absolutely nothing to squash such legislation, but I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

  30. Geoff,

    Thanks for your response. I will simply say that I don’t think that the judges a person supports should automatically say anything regarding whether a person is pro-life. A person might on the whole agree with liberal judges but not agree with their supporting of abortion rights.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’d like to share a comment that I recently wrote on my blog (to a non-Latter-day Saint) concerning my being LDS, pro-life, and pro-Obama:

    Latter-day Saints believe that abortion is wrong and its members are prohibited from having or participating in an abortion for any reason other than rape, incest, the health or life of the mother, or a non-viable fetus. Even in these cases, exceptions should not be automatic, but only after consultation with the Lord and one’s ecclesiastical leaders. Latter-day Saints who do not follow these guidelines are subject to Church discipline (likely disfellowship or excommunication, which is meant to be temporary as long as individuals want to repent and remain in the Church).

    As far as I am aware, the Church does not have an official political stance on abortion. However, the vast majority of active Latter-day Saints are pro-life. Including me and probably nearly all LDS Obama supporters. Considering that the LDS position allows for exceptions, however, Latter-day Saints typically have more moderate pro-life views than the official “no exceptions” platform of the RNC.

    I would argue that, yes, elective abortion is against “the very core of LDS.” For this reason, many Latter-day Saints would never even consider voting for a pro-choice candidate. I think that most Latter-day Saints, however, see it as one important position out of many.

    Here is what is SO important about abortion issues: There are two general areas that are important when discussing abortion. The first is legal and the second is social. One thing that you won’t hear the Republicans talk about is that current abortion rates are about the same as they were before Roe v. Wade. In other words, reversing Roe v. Wade might do hardly anything when it comes to actually reducing abortions. Thus, anyone who is truly pro-life would not be comforted all that much over a mere legal procedure. The reality is, if abortions are truly to be reduced, it will require social policies that you see the Democratic Party — not the Republican Party — in favor of (e.g., universal health care, a living wage for working Americans, and family-friendly solutions and interventions). None of this means that the legality of Roe v. Wade is not important (I think it is), but it does mean that it is not sufficient. But here’s the rub: if Roe v. Wade were reversed and everyone realizes that we still have major abortion problems to deal with — the GOP will not exemplify the principles that are needed to deal with these problems! Thus, some have argued, the GOP actually has an investment to keep pro-life initiatives on their agenda but then do nothing about it! Many have argued that this is the current state of affairs with the GOP. Interestingly, abortions went down during the Clinton administration and up during the Bush administration.

    So, I think that the Republican Party holds up the Roe v. Wade issue as a seductive (but in the end illusive) bait for social conservatives who otherwise would swing Democrat. Sadly, most have taken the bait, including most Mormons.

    I think that Obama will actually do more to help Americans reduce abortions than will McCain. For more on this issue, as well as your concerns with the Freedom of Choice Act, I encourage you to check out this document from Catholics for Obama, entitled “The Catholic Case for Obama.” Also, check out this interview with Catholic legal scholar Doug Kmiec.

  31. Geoff,

    Thanks for your response. I will simply say that I don’t think that the judges a person supports should automatically say anything regarding whether a person is pro-life. A person might on the whole agree with liberal judges but not agree with their supporting of abortion rights.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’d like to share a comment that I recently wrote on my blog (to a non-Latter-day Saint) concerning my being LDS, pro-life, and pro-Obama:

    Latter-day Saints believe that abortion is wrong and its members are prohibited from having or participating in an abortion for any reason other than rape, incest, the health or life of the mother, or a non-viable fetus. Even in these cases, exceptions should not be automatic, but only after consultation with the Lord and one’s ecclesiastical leaders. Latter-day Saints who do not follow these guidelines are subject to Church discipline (likely disfellowship or excommunication, which is meant to be temporary as long as individuals want to repent and remain in the Church).

    As far as I am aware, the Church does not have an official political stance on abortion. However, the vast majority of active Latter-day Saints are pro-life. Including me and probably nearly all LDS Obama supporters. Considering that the LDS position allows for exceptions, however, Latter-day Saints typically have more moderate pro-life views than the official “no exceptions” platform of the RNC.

    I would argue that, yes, elective abortion is against “the very core of LDS.” For this reason, many Latter-day Saints would never even consider voting for a pro-choice candidate. I think that most Latter-day Saints, however, see it as one important position out of many.

    Here is what is SO important about abortion issues: There are two general areas that are important when discussing abortion. The first is legal and the second is social. One thing that you won’t hear the Republicans talk about is that current abortion rates are about the same as they were before Roe v. Wade. In other words, reversing Roe v. Wade might do hardly anything when it comes to actually reducing abortions. Thus, anyone who is truly pro-life would not be comforted all that much over a mere legal procedure. The reality is, if abortions are truly to be reduced, it will require social policies that you see the Democratic Party — not the Republican Party — in favor of (e.g., universal health care, a living wage for working Americans, and family-friendly solutions and interventions). None of this means that the legality of Roe v. Wade is not important (I think it is), but it does mean that it is not sufficient. But here’s the rub: if Roe v. Wade were reversed and everyone realizes that we still have major abortion problems to deal with — the GOP will not exemplify the principles that are needed to deal with these problems! Thus, some have argued, the GOP actually has an investment to keep pro-life initiatives on their agenda but then do nothing about it! Many have argued that this is the current state of affairs with the GOP. Interestingly, abortions went down during the Clinton administration and up during the Bush administration.

    So, I think that the Republican Party holds up the Roe v. Wade issue as a seductive (but in the end illusive) bait for social conservatives who otherwise would swing Democrat. Sadly, most have taken the bait, including most Mormons.

    I think that Obama will actually do more to help Americans reduce abortions than will McCain. For more on this issue, as well as your concerns with the Freedom of Choice Act, I encourage you to check out this document from Catholics for Obama, entitled “The Catholic Case for Obama.”

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