No Party For Pro-Lifers

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Speaking of Linda Hirshman, her Slate piece crowing over the absence of the "safe, legal and rare" formulation from the Dems' platform language on abortion ought to provide some clarity for pro-lifers hopeful that an Obamafied Democratic Party might provide any kind of an opening for advancing anything resembling a pro-life agenda. So should David Freddoso's reporting on Obama and the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. For that matter, so should Steven Waldman's analysis of the platform fight, which notes that pro-life liberals were thrilled just to be "included in the process," even though they didn't really accomplish much of anything.

As I've said before, I think there can be legitimate reasons for pro-lifers to vote for pro-choice candidates. But they shouldn't delude themselves, Doug Kmiec-style, about what it is they're doing: The Democratic Party's rigidly pro-choice stance is one of the more unyielding positions in contemporary American politics, and at least for the foreseeable future, pro-lifers who vote Democratic will always be casting votes that cut against their convictions on abortion, rather than with them.

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

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