Obama, Abortion, and 95/10

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Doug Kmiec, pro-lifer and Obama endorser, explains how Obama can retroactively justify Kmiec's endorsement finesse the abortion issue:

By embracing a proposal equivalent to what the leaders of his own counsel of advisors have already endorsed: the so-called 95-10 legislation. This idea satisfies neither side of an absolutist clash completely - how could it and still be common ground? - yet it strives for a 95% reduction in abortion over 10 years, not by legal mandate that would contradict the Senator's belief that this decision must remain that of the mother, but instead by ensuring that no woman faces such decision without having already had the benefit of responsible information about abstinence and contraception. In the event of a pregnancy, the proposal would supply objective information about fetal development, the proper guidance of a parent if the prospective mother is a minor, and the public's assurance of necessary economic support to carry the pregnancy to term, and if it be the mother's informed choice, the adoption of her child.

You can read up on the 95/10 plan here, on the website of Democrats for Life. They describe it as "a comprehensive package of federal legislation and policy proposals that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years." I would describe it as a grab-bag of modest proposals, some of them creditable, that might reduce the abortion rate by 10 percent over 95 years. And while I would be delighted to see Obama endorse the plan, since it's always nice to have pro-choice politicians on the record suggesting that abortion is a bad thing and we ought to have less of it, I have a tough time seeing it happening. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose gender and record and reputation offers her enough maneuvering room to occasionally play the "safe, legal and never" card, I suspect that Obama simply doesn't have enough feminist cred to even tiptoe off the liberal reservation on abortion. But I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

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Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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