Roundup: For Some Anti-Choicers, “Compromise Means Betrayal”

Emily Douglas

USA Today editorializes in favor of new anti-choice strategy to reduce rather than outlaw abortion; female majority in the New Hampshire state Senate; former NARAL legal director to advise President-Elect Obama.

For Some
Anti-Choicers, "Compromise Means Betrayal"

The news that some anti-choice groups are shifting gears — working not to overturn Roe but to provide economic and
social supports for pregnant women — has sparked outrage amongst many entrenched anti-choice
groups.  In USA Today, Joseph Scheidler
of the Pro-Life Action League, writes

There is no evidence that increasing
social programs – such as low-cost health care and day care, college grants and
maternity homes – will impact a woman’s abortion decision. It is rare in our
experience to find a woman who says the reason she is choosing abortion is that
she doesn’t have day care, or that she’d rather go to college.

Those of us who have spent years outside abortion clinics, talking with
abortion-bound women, are keenly aware of what leads women there. Often, the
woman feels she has no choice because someone important in her life refuses to
support a decision to keep the baby…We see the effort to combine pro-life and
pro-choice forces as a betrayal on the part of the pro-lifers.

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Today itself editorialized
in favor of the new approach:

Even before
Election Day, a loose coalition of conservative academics, prominent
anti-abortion pastors, lay Catholics and other activists began working with old
enemies in the pro-abortion rights camp to push a new agenda passage
of measures to provide low-income, pregnant women with the kind of services and
education that could discourage them from seeking abortions. They are on the
right track…We hope they can do even more, particularly in finding ways to make
contraceptives more widely obtainable and in improving sex education.
Meanwhile, if this first sign of détente
in the abortion wars helps make the procedure less common but still available,
it will be a notable accomplishment.

Female Majority in New Hampshire State Senate

New Hampshire’s
State Senate will be majority female come January, reports Women’s eNews,
the first female majority in a legislative body in the country.  The bad news? 
Women have historically been better represented in state legislatures
that pay little, and New Hampshire
is no exception – it pays state legislators $100 per session. 

Former NARAL Legal
Director to Advise President-Elect Obama
that Dawn Johnsen, professor at the Indiana University School of
Law and legal director at NARAL Pro-Choice America from 1988 to 1993, will join
President-Elect Obama’s Department of Justice Review Team.  Johnsen also served in the Clinton administration as the Acting
Assistant Attorney General heading the Office of Legal Counsel from 1997-1998
and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General from 1993-1996.

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