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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kmiec Thinks that Solidifying Abortion in the Democratic Platform Is a Pro-Life Step

The Democratic Party has proposed new language in their platform regarding abortion, which it hopes to ratify at the convention in Denver. Here it is:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.
The current platform language is the following:
Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay. We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine that right. At the same time, we strongly support family planning and adoption incentives. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.
To me, it looks like the new statement is a much more defiant statement in support of abortion: The Democrats now "strongly and equivocally" support the right to abortion and "oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine" that right, as opposed to "stand proudly for" the right to abotion and "stand firmly" against efforts to undermine that right.

Also, a significant difference is the removal of "rare" from the old Clinton-era saying that "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." Over at Slate.com, a pro-abortion editorial argues that this change is long overdue and is a necessary step to reclaiming the "morality" of abortion. The article says that "rare" gave the connotation that abortion was a "necessary moral evil," something which women would choose only as a last resort and which they might later regret. Removing the word "rare" now makes abortion about "the value of women's lives." Abortion can now be a moral positive.

So who is responsible for this new language more firmly entrenching the pro-abortion view? Apparently, "Catholic legal scholar Doug Kmiec . . . helped in the drafting of this new language."

Great. Now Kmiec is not just defending pro-abortion policies, he's creating pro-abortion policies.

Catholic Online has an article by Kmiec entitled "Democrats Steps Toward Honoring Life in Their Party Platform." In the article, Kmiec argues that the new platform language is a pro-life step "considerably toward the side that favors life from the moment of conception" because it recognizes abortion as a choice left ultimately for women to make free from government intervention and because there is additional language about prenatal assistance and adoption.

In response to Kmiec's second point, I note that Republicans also pledge support for prenatal assistance, adoption, etc., so I don't know why Democrats are better on this point than Republicans. As for the first point, Kmiec has lost all reason. Here is Kmiec:
Barack Obama is a different type of candidate. As he sees it, Roe is not an endorsement of abortion, so much as an affirmation that abortion is a moral question for which only the potential mother can give answer. To impose either safe or legal or rare is, to him, to have the government displace the woman's freedom . . . .

Obama's theory of government is to put the human person at the center -- to not have the government impose from top-down, but to encourage greater for life by making sure that a woman's life circumstance is not so cruel that ignorance or economics coerces a choice the mother would otherwise not make . . . .

But Catholics ought also be the first to observe that insofar as Obama leaves the present law giving the potential mother the ultimate choice, he has successfully persuaded his party to commit to conditions that will make it more, not less, likely that the choice will be in favor of life.
Yes, you read it right: Kmiec said "potential mother," not once but two times. I guess Kmiec now thinks that the foetus is a mere "potential human life."

I'm starting to believe in alien abductions because I don't know what other reason there is to explain Doug Kmiec's complete transformation into pro-abortion Obama groupie.