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March 31, 2005

A Party of Death

Tony Coppola

      The liberal Clamor Magazine has decided that it is a good idea to sell t-shirts that state, “I had an abortion.” While it is the magazine’s right to do so, this seems to represent the problem with the way leftists and many Democrats talk about abortion and other issues of morality. They must understand that there are serious moral concerns regarding abortion. Regardless of how one looks at the issue, it is clear that abortion is preventing a human being from entering into this world. The majority of Americans are pro-choice. What disturbs them, however, is when publications like Clamor refuse to look at the moral complexity of the issue. When abortion is viewed as a way to liberate women and make them “equal” to men, without regard for the unborn child, many Americans become turned off. This type of callous argument has become wrongly associated with all members of the Democratic Party. It is possible to agree that abortion should be legal, but also work to prevent it from occurring.

      Supporters of Roe v. Wade, as Senator Hillary Clinton has recently shown, need not be pro-abortion. Although Senator Clinton supports the right to choose, she has made it clear that she believes abortion should be discouraged and that the government should take an active role in trying to prevent abortions, without making them illegal. Abortion has actually gone up in the last four years under the Bush administration’s watch and had previously declined during the Clinton years. This is no surprise, since poverty has greatly increased under the Bush administration. If the Republican Congress really wants to show its support for life, it should tackle the issues of poverty and healthcare in this country. When there are more single and impoverished expecting women, there will be more abortions. Yet, many Republican politicians present contradictory stances when they proclaim themselves to be pro-life while passing tax cuts for the rich that will inevitably produce more poverty, and thereby lead to more instances of abortion.

      If abortion is to be reduced and the sanctity of life is to be affirmed, both the right and the left must compromise. The Democratic Party should follow Hillary Clinton’s lead and affirm that they do not encourage abortion, but also do not believe that the federal government should criminalize it. If they were smart, they would point to the increase in abortion over the last four years due to the Bush administration’s reckless policies. For its part, the Republican Party should realize that it is not cultivating a culture of life at all. Ignoring poverty does not promote a culture of life. Tax cuts for the rich do not promote a culture of life. Trying to reduce healthcare benefits during the current healthcare crisis does not promote a culture of life. The Democrats have a problem with the way they talk about morality; the Republicans have a problem with the way they understand morality.

      The Republican Congress has taken it upon itself to prevent a husband from removing a feeding tube from his wife, who is in a permanent vegetative state. Yet, in recent months hospitals have removed the feeding tubes of other people just like Terri Schiavo because the current healthcare crisis has made it too expensive to keep them alive. As usual, the party of life is more concerned with using a helpless woman as a political football than tackling real issues. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, it is unlikely that voices like Clamor will wise up and realize that they are hurting the party that they should be supporting. However, while Republicans may view themselves as the party of life, they are the ones who are carrying out the most egregious offenses against the pro-life movement.

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