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Tuesday, April 20th 2004

6:05 PM

Nader: Dems Turn Backs on Pro-lifers

Some of us have been saying for a long time that one reason why Democrats have done poorly in recent years is their obsequious worship at the pro-abortion altar. A Zogby Poll not long back showed that 43% of Democrats are pro-life.  Yet all the Presidential candidates and much of the party machinery have treated this large body of voters with disdain.

What's new is that independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader has taken note of this. In Nader's Dear Anybody But Bush Liberal Democrats message on his campaign Web site, he states, "The Democrats need to be shown in the field how to appeal to the millions of voters whom they have turned their back on because many of them are against abortion and gun control."

A clear message conveyed by Nader is that not only have Democrats hurt themselves by not appealing to pro-lifers, but that Nader is going to show them how to do it! Nader seems to want to welcome progressive pro-lifers.

We don't really have any indication that Nader is turning pro-life. In his Green Party candidate days, he mouthed conventional pro-abortion rhetoric. Many observers noted, however, that he never seemed comfortable talking about abortion. Now free from any political party, his long list of issues on his campaign site doesn't have a word about abortion.

How does he plan to appeal to progressive pro-lifers without taking a pro-life stand on abortion? Apparently by providing a progressive platform which doesn't include language catering to pro-abortion special interests, and by giving pro-lifers some respect. He seems to realize there are millions of pro-lifers who rebel at voting for Bush, reliably pro-life on abortion but with horrendous positions on most other issues of concern, but also at voting for Kerry, somewhat better on some issues but zealously pro-abortion. Many of us are not single-issue voters, and are open to voting for candidates with generally good issue positions even if not explicitly pro-life on abortion, as long as they aren't actively pro-abortion.

It is quite evident from Nader's message that part of what he is seeking is to change the Democratic Party. It certainly needs reform. It is encouraging that one element of the Democratic Party reform Nader seeks to catalyze is openness to pro-lifers.

Nader's overall strategy is interesting. His campaign site features not only the Dear Anybody But Bush Liberal Democrats message but also a Dear Conservatives Upset With the Policies of the Bush Administration message. He seeks a coalition of the discontented crossing the usual dividing lines of American politics. In part, this strategy seeks to avoid drawing votes only from those otherwise inclined to vote for Kerry, and thereby improving Bush's relative position. He points to polls indicating that in the past large numbers of those attracted to him would not have otherwise voted Democratic.

The still fairly new Democrats for Life of America is working to build an organized Democratic pro-life movement. We can hope that Nader's efforts to appeal to this constituency will encourage Democratic Party officials and candidates to become more open to pro-lifers, and be a valuable adjunct to the organizing efforts within the Party.

-Bill Samuel

8 Comment(s).

Posted by Louis A. Shapiro:

Good for Nadar!
Friday, April 23rd 2004 @ 8:56 AM

Posted by Bill Samuel:

Unfortunately on April 23, Nader endorsed the full agenda of the National Organization for Women, and announced that it would have a contingent on the misnamed March for Women's Lives, which was actually a pro-abortion march.
Thursday, May 6th 2004 @ 5:21 PM

Posted by Ginger Lansing:

No one is pro-abortion. No one likes the idea of abortion. If we all want abortion to stop we must take steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies not ban abortions which wont stop anyway. We are all aware of back alley abortions. Even in Ireland where aboriton is illegal women still have them even tho they are unsafe often times. I think it is sad that the language you use is so angry.
Tuesday, June 1st 2004 @ 7:05 PM

Posted by Bill Samuel:

NOW and other "pro-choice" organizations are objectively pro-abortion. They fairly consistently oppose any efforts to really offer women choices. They oppose pregnancy centers which provide means where women can truly exercise choice, they oppose informed consent laws to protect women, they have supported and protected men who abuse women (even their own lobbyists!), etc.

Some "pro-choice" propagandists have admitted that their claims about the number of deaths and injuries due to "back alley abortions" are simply made up and have no factual basis. Meanwhile the "pro-choice" groups have opposed efforts to mandate reporting of deaths and injuries from legal abortions.

We are dealing with systematic distortion of the truth which results in the loss of lives of babies and women.
Tuesday, June 1st 2004 @ 7:47 PM

Posted by Bill Samuel:

In the continuing odyssey of Nader and the abortion issue, a significant development is his comment in an interview with Pat Buchanan in the June 21, 2004 issue of The American Conservative: "I believe in choice. I don’t think government should tell women to have children or not to have children. I am also against feticide. If doctors think it is a fetus, that should be banned. It is a medical decision."

So it now appears that Nader would ban some abortions.
Monday, July 12th 2004 @ 8:17 AM

Posted by Rich B.:

A friend of mine proclaims to be Quaker (speaks often of attending meeting) she's a feminist liberal, pro-animal, anti-war, and marched in the 2004 April...I believe Peter Jennings called the Pro-Abortion March in Washington... is she in conflict with Quaker Theology or does a strong pro-choice element exist in the church?:-?
Appreciate your opinion - Thank you.
Friday, April 21st 2006 @ 8:04 PM

Posted by Bill Samuel:

In the more theologically liberal segment of the Society of Friends, there is substantial pro-choice sentiment. There is a tendency within this part of Quakerism to follow the standard liberal line. However, there have always been a lot of liberal Quakers in the progressive wing of the pro-life movement.
Saturday, April 22nd 2006 @ 8:43 PM

Posted by douglas barnett:

Just found your blog.
I agree with your last post.
Thanks for the heads up about Nader
Kucinich visited us in 2004, Peter Camejo in 2002 and 2006.
I've seen Nader locally a dozen times between 2000 and just this month.
Kucinich (and his new wife) were at a meeting three Sundays ago just a short city block south of Whitter Friends Church.
If you are ever in Los Angeles, we never lock the front door.
Los Angeles Monthly Meeting of
The Religious Society Of Friends 4167 South Normandie Ave.
Sunday, February 25th 2007 @ 2:04 AM

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