Tuesday, January 25, 2005

High Praise for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Yes, you read that right. In fact, you may never read it again on this page. But yes, it's genuine. Drudge linked to this New York Times story in which Hillary seems to reach out to pro-lifers by stating a desire to reduce the number of "unwanted pregnancies." The article, in part:
While she acknowledged in her address today that Americans have "deeply held differences" over abortion rights, Mrs. Clinton told the annual conference of the Family Planning Advocates of New York State, "I for one respect those who believe with all their heart and conscience that there are no circumstances under which abortion should be available."

In addition to her description of abortion as a "tragic choice" for many," Mrs. Clinton said that faith and organized religion were the "primary" reasons that teenagers abstain from sexual relations, and reminded the audience that during the 1990's, she promoted "teen celibacy" as a way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

"The fact is, the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place," Mrs. Clinton said.

Mrs. Clinton also called today for the Bush administration, religious groups, supporters and opponents of abortion rights and others to look beyond the abortion rights divide and form a broad alliance on other issues that she suggested as less incendiary: sex-education programs for teenagers that included abstinence education, emergency contraception for women who have recently had unprotected intercourse, and family planning.
First, to my friends on the right: I know this is little more than positioning for her 2008 presidential bid (and quite transparent at that, when coupled with all her recent talk about her faith). However, to paraphrase what my co-blogger Josh once told me, why does it matter what the motivation is as long as the policy is correct?

That brings me to the merits of her proposal. In short, I think it's great. No matter what side of the coin one falls on with regards to the abortion issue, I cannot see how anyone would be opposed to there being a fewer number of abortions performed. If she and others actually commit to something like this, neither the pro-life or the pro-choice side loses. I would hope that those on the pro-choice side view the practice and practitioners of abortion somewhat like police officers: they have jobs because there exists a problem, but ideally their job function would not be necessary at all.

I thought of something similar about a year ago. I was having a discussion about abortion with a liberal girl from my section that I was dating (who shall remain nameless!), and I suggested to her that I would like to see a broad coalition of both pro-life and pro-choice groups getting together and working toward reducing the number of abortions performed through programs, some like the ones Hillary mentioned, that would reduce the frequency at which abortions were performed. She seemed startled, and even angry (mostly angry), that I could even conceive of something like that. It was obvious that it was an idea that had never even entered her mind, since she was instead filled with zeal for protecting abortion rights. I wonder what she would say in response to Hillary's remarks. She's already heard it once before.

P.S. - "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" was Tony Bennett's song, not Sinatra's.