4/13/2012 12:01:00 PM Democrats should curtail manic abortion support
Catholic News Service photo
Pope John Paul II addresses a press conference with President Jimmy Carter in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1979. Carter is now urging the Democrats to soften their strident support for abortion rights.
Former President Jimmy Carter is urging his party, the Democrats, to relinquish a close-minded position on abortion.
While this would have been more useful in 1978, we welcome the former chief executive's initiative. Since about the time Carter was president, Democratic pols have kowtowed to the one tragic outcome of women's rights — abortion without limits, funded at taxpayer expense. Ever since, many Catholics have had no authentic political home.
Appearing on a radio talk show last month, Carter said the Democrats should work to end abortion except for women whose lives are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Carter, a politician and not a moral theologian, was thinking politically. He figures Democrats would gain some new allegiance with the move. But he does object to abortion morally, even if his position has some flaws.
“I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president," Carter told radio host Laura Ingraham.
To Carter's credit, when he was in the White House he made it easy to adopt children and initiated a food and care program for women, infants and children. It bears noting the Ronald Reagan also did little to make abortion illegal.
Carter wants to broach his idea at the 2012 Democratic convention. He has little chance, given that anything-goes abortion has become a redwood-sized plank in the party's platform. The party excised any language about abortion being "rare" or even safe. The only goal is making them legal.
The pro-abortion lobby is just too strong and the Democratic leadership too reliant on the votes and money.
Would that the pro-life Democrats of the Beltway would emerge and speak up now, when they have some clout. The failure is almost too anguishing to ponder, especially considering that one poll shows four in 10 Democrats opposing all or most abortions.
In the spirit of Carter's proposal, here's the part of the Democratic platform all Americans can embrace:
“The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.”