Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democrats, Abortion, and Evangelical Pandering

Some evangelicals are hopeful about the Democratic Party given some new language in the party platform about abortion.

Christianity Today records the optimism of Wesley Theological Seminary's Shaun Casey. From an August 26 blog post:


It’s something that evangelicals ought to take quite seriously that the Democratic Party has made a commitment to reducing the number of abortions without reverting to criminalization. Based on my conversations with evangelicals, I think that resonates, I think a lot of evangelicals find that attractive, they find that helpful and hopeful, and it’s a reflection of who Sen. Obama is.


Ehhhh, not so much, Shaun. CT also gives its readers a look at the new abortion language and it really doesn't change anything of substance (emphasis mine):

"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

"The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education, which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.

"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."

"Any and all efforts to weaken or undermine" abortion are opposed by the Dem party platform and a right to abortion "regardless of ability to pay" means the Democratic Party opposes any ban on taxpayer financing of abortion. I fail to see how those strictures will result in less abortions.

What's more, given the Democratic Party's historic support from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, you can wager that the "age-appropriate sex education" will not adequately demonstrate the negative psychological and physical repercussions of abortion and will result in taxpayer dollars being funneled in greater measure towards abortion-providing firms.

No effort is or will be made to support 24-hour waiting periods, informed consent, parental notification, or any bans on procedures such as partial-birth abortion. The reduction in abortion foreseen by the Democratic platform has nothing to do with common sense restrictions or regulations of the procedure but in funneling more money towards liberal Democrat-friendly constituencies, something surely not desirable to evangelicals.

Simply put, the two paragraphs about pre- and neo-natal care are window dressing designed to distract from the party's fundamental commitment to abortion-on-demand.

Jesus is not a Democrat or a Republican, but we as Christ's flock are called to be gentle as doves but wise as serpents in a world full of ravenous wolves (Matt. 10:16).

Let's go into this election refusing to be co-opted by either political party and being wary not to be deceived with empty words.

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