Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The left and abortion

Michael Berube, who usually posts on his own blog, raises some interesting points about abortion and progressive politics in a post on The American Street.

I do not believe that American politics can shift significantly to the left if we are constantly up against 35-45 percent of the electorate that will sign on with anyone– even genuine Messianic madmen (examples on request!)– who oppose abortion. In other words, the sooner progressives begin spreading the word that you can be a “moral person” who “respects life” but supports first-trimester abortions on health and social welfare grounds, the better. How to go about this?
What strikes me is that Berube is writing about first trimester abortions, while many of the recent abortion battles in the U.S. have been about third trimester abortion. I'm not an expert on European laws on abortion, but a quick web search seems to indicate that at least some of European coutnries have restrictions such as waiting periods, mandatory counseling, and the like that would be anathema to much of the pro-choice community.

What if progressives took a more nuanced, less absolute position on abortion? Or were open to a variety of views?

Questions worth asking I think.

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