The Democratic National Convention—Part Two: Placing abortion in “larger context” allows Obama to evade his extremist position on abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Take a few minutes and peruse the 2012 Democratic National Platform. About half-way down under “Protecting Rights and Freedoms,” you’ll find “Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose.”

In a mere 137 words, President Obama and his party affirm (a) their unequivocal support for Roe v. Wade; (b) a woman’s right to make whatever decisions she wishes about her pregnancy “including a safe and legal abortion” (the insincere but once politically useful “rare” had already been abandoned); (c) federal funding of abortion (under the code words “regardless of ability to pay”); and (d) the boilerplate language about abortion being “an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.”

There are, of course, multiple exceptions to (d). For example, pass ObamaCare which is rife with multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance and multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates.

But while the platform is unequivocally pro-abortion, “Democrats think they’ve figured out how to win the abortion debate,” writes POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere. “Don’t make it about abortion.”

Pardon? How can that be when among all the other pro-abortion speakers, the very epitome of abortion advocacy–Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and NARAL President Nancy Keenan–will be trotted out?

You guessed it. “But don’t expect them to focus on abortion — or even necessarily use the word,” Dovere writes. “Instead, they’ll defend President Barack Obama’s record on reproductive health and reproductive rights. And, as they have before, they’ll accuse GOP nominee Mitt Romney and his party of waging a ‘war on women.’”

Groan, not the “war on women” AGAIN!

But pro-abortion Democrats have figured out (as if this is new news) that “Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans favor at least some abortion restrictions,” Dovere observes. “So Democrats have made the contentious issue part of a larger conversation about women’s health — and that, in turn, is part of a larger conversation that depicts Republicans as opposed to equal pay and access to education for women.”

Get it? Abortion is part of “x”  (a “larger conversation”) which is part of “y” (“women’s health”) which is part of “z” (opposition to equal pay and access to education for women) which only the most hard-core partisan would even pretend to believe is true. Talk about insulting the intelligence of the average voter!

But, as Dovere writes (referring to Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and Obama’s 2008 campaign domestic policy director),  “The shift in language helps her party: Asking people to support abortion is a lot harder than criticizing those who are against ‘rights’ and ‘health.’”

Another pro-abortion Democrat tells Dovere  that “In the age of the ultrasound, the framing of ‘choice’ does continue to resonate with a segment of voters, but not everyone”[!] “Reproductive health is pretty straightforward,” says Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way.

All of which is intended to avoid (pun not intended) the elephant in the room: Obama is an extremist on abortion by any measure, a position that the mainstream media takes great pains to minimize/obscure/or ignore all together  (see ).

Just how far out of the mainstream on abortion President Obama actually is we talk about in Part Four.

(Don’t forget to download a one-page summary of President Obama’s record on abortion at

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