A friend of mine sent this letter to Democrats for Life. He wrote and sent it while his blood was up, but I think he's asking a pretty important question: are pro-life Democratic groups good or bad? Do they moderate the Democratic party, or defuse the pro-life movement? This is an increasingly urgent question due to the proposed healthcare bill. On the one hand, pro-life Democrats like Stupak are helping to prevent the government from getting into the abortion business, and probably saving lives in the process (if they're successful). On the other hand, these pro-life Democrats provide coverage for radically pro-abortion Democrats to claim to be "big tent," even while nominally pro-life Democrats like Harry Reid seek to remove the Stupak-Pitts language and get us directly into covering abortions. The presence of pro-life Dems seems to both help the very pro-choice Democratic Party and seems to moderate their often-radical agenda. Perhaps an important question is this: if pro-life Democrats weren't in Congress, would those seats be filled with pro-life Republicans or pro-choice Democrats? Anyways, here's his take:
Dear Democrats for Life,
On behalf of all those who see abortion as a great evil that should not in any way be condoned or promoted by a civil society, I applaud your group's efforts in providing advocates of a woman's right to abort her children with the political cover they need to seem broad-minded and conciliatory to citizens who would otherwise worry that support for a political party that has actively sought to promote abortion for the last forty years might compromise some of their most closely-held principles. Suffice to say that all your hard work is coming to fruition; members of the party that you support seem to be bringing enough political pressure and incentives to convince whatever pro-life Democrats there are in the Senate to acquiesce to statutory language in the "compromise" health care bill floated by Sen. Reid ensuring that every taxpaying citizen will do their part to ensure that expanded medical insurance coverage will subsidize abortions. Moreover, your support of a resolutely pro-abortion president has ensured that a presidential veto of federal subsidies for abortion will not be forthcoming. Tremendous work, really--poor children and families will now have much better access to life-saving health care, if they make the cut....
So, really, what I want to know is: what next? Now that you have played such an important role in ensuring that the federal government will adopt a policy that abortion is not only a private choice between a woman and her doctor but a financial obligation for every taxpayer, for what other morally repugnant causes will you provide much-needed window dressing? I'm at a loss for ideas myself as to what the future could hold, but perhaps the movers and shakers in the Democratic party will chart the next course. In the meantime, don't change: make sure that your political inertia ensure that you remain wedded to a party whose most closely-held and fiercely-advocated platforms are inconsistent with your purported values, or (alternatively) make sure that your values measure lightly in whatever balancing test you employ in determining your favored political candidates--either approach works just as well!
Once again, thanks so much! I'll think of you every time I fill out my 1040 and wonder whether I could just save time by sending my loved ones a gift certificate to Planned Parenthood!
A federal taxpayer who will no longer have clean hands
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