than were aborted in New York City in 2009.
For many people, abortion is not just a religous fight-it is a debate about permissiveness and its consequences. Joe and Eileen [Bailey] are offended at the idea that abortion is a tool of liberation. They are offended at the idea that people might use abortion as a form of birth control. To them, these are symptoms of a culture that has lost its moral compass. They are turned off when people claim that every choice is as good as every other choice.
Joe and Eileen believe in a moral right and wrong. They believe that promiscuity should be avoided-- by both men and women. They know that when is isn't, it can cause real pain and unhapiness. The choices the Baileys consider immoral, whether it's underage sex or adult infidelity, have consequences. They have seen the consequences. They fear a society that ignores the morals it depends upon.
Yet they also live in the real world. They know about human frailty. They know people make mistakes. They believe in second chances. They believe in forgiveness and redemption. They believe when people have made mistakes, they should have the right to deal with them themselves, to choose how to solve their own problems, without the government dictating to them. [...]
There is a need for a societal superego to counteract our individual id. For many people this is the role of the church, the synogogue, or the mosque. The Baileys may not agree with all of their church's views-- and they may not always follow it dictates-- but they are glad what it is saying. Their church advocates taking responsibilty and maintaining values. In a society that sometimes seems to have too little of that, they're glad for its voice, even when they disagree with it. As much as family and country, it is a critical part of their value system, their worldview and their life.
When government officials talk about abortion too much or in a way that is morally neutral, it seems like the opposite. It comes across as an endorsement. While the Baileys don't believe abortion should be prohibited outright, they never want it to be endorsed. They believe, as Bill Clinton masterfully put it, that abortion should be "Safe, legal, and rare."
To be in step, the Democrats need to focus not only on the "safe and legal," but also on the "rare". Too often, it doesn't seem like "rare" is very important to us. But "rare" is critical to Joe and Eileen Bailey. When faced with Republicans' "never, never and never" cry [an intellectually dishonest mischaracterization] or the Democrats' "safe and legal" mantra, they are ambivalent. The Baileys cannot in good conscience support "safe and legal" abortions without the clear understanding they must also be "rare".
Recently, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, two Democrat leaders with very different views on abortion, have both been pushing the party in the right direction. They have been holding the line on safe and legal and articulating the importance of "rare."
Safety and legality are critical. There are parts of this country where safe abortions are not available [where?]. This must change. There are states in which Roe vs. Wade is under assault. We must defend it. To be fair most American have access to safe and legal abortion -- and of course we must keep it that way.
On the other hand, 1.3 million abortions are performed each year in this country. That equals about one abortion for every four live births. Abortion is a long way from being rare.
The answer is not and never has been, criminalization. Making a it a crime undermines its safety and creates criminals where there are none. As Democrats, we must never accept that. Instead we should make it a top priority to reduce abortions by half...
[..big snip as in about 3 pages...]
Medical insurers should be required to get on board with reducing abortions. All individual and group health plans should cover the costs of abstinence education courses and the costs of contraception, including emergency contraceptives. Families should be allowed to opt out of this coverage in accordance with their religious beliefs.
- from The 50% Solution by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Daniel Squadron in "Positively American: How the Democrats can win in 2008."
Democrats did win in 2008 without needing to promise Senator Schumer's The 50% Solution. Since that win, the Democrats federalized our health care system; Obamacare. Under Obamacare, they did not criminalize abortion. Rather, they federally funded it with $7 billion that has been earmarked for Community Health Centers program for primary health care, which specifically includes gynecological and obstetrics care. This money appears in the bill so is unaffected by the Stupak Ammendment. It is also specifically without restrictions on the use of the money for abortion. Admittedly, with 7 billion more dollars going towards all forms of reproductive services it will be much harder to maintain or even just pay lip service to the rare aspect of "the Democrats' "safe and legal"" mantra".
What will be even harder for the Democrats to maintain is the idea they are not at war with people's religious freedoms. They criminalized opting out of Obamacare. With fines and imprisonment levied as punishment. Senator Schumer in his 50% Solution said families should be allowed to opt out of private insurance coverage providing reproductive services in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Democrats only provided an opt-out for Amish, Mormon and Muslim Americans.
Senator Schumer wrote,
"When government officials talk about abortion too much or in a way that is morally neutral, it seems like the opposite. It comes across as an endorsement. "
With Obamacare now the law across the land complete with the criminalization for opting out unless you fall in one of three religious groups -Amish, Morman or Muslim, it has become much, much harder for the rest of America to not view the Democrat Party as an active endoser of abortion.