Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Politically Provocative Abortion Demands

It all started with this update to an Instapundit post:

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg asks: "Just curious: Which Democrats ran as liberals on abortion and gun control? I'm sure some did, but I doubt many of those most responsible for taking back the House did anything of the sort."

Mistakenly assuming that Mr. Goldberg was actually familiar with the facts behind his musings I was interested to see the data in his source article.

To my surprise, the Los Angeles Times article had no data on which of the Democrats most responsible for taking back the House ran as liberals on abortion. What the article did have was an odd assertion that Democratic activists are demanding ambitious — and politically provocative — actions on, among other things, abortion:

WASHINGTON — After toppling the long-dominant Republicans in a hard-fought election, the Democratic Party's incoming congressional leaders have immediately found themselves in another difficult struggle — with their own supporters.

Some of the very activists who helped propel the Democrats to a majority in the House and Senate last week are claiming credit for the victories and demanding what they consider their due: a set of ambitious — and politically provocative — actions on gun control, abortion, national security and other issues that party leaders fear could alienate moderate voters and leave Democrats vulnerable to GOP attacks as big spenders or soft on terrorism.

So what exactly are these newsworthy abortion demands?

Similar vows are coming from lobbyists for abortion rights, who want to expand family-planning options for poor women and scale back Bush's focus on abstinence education....


Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which advocates abortion rights, pointed to victories by like-minded candidates in conservative states and a rejection by South Dakota voters of an abortion ban. The result, the group says, should be that Democrats view their causes as mainstream, rather than part of a liberal agenda, and should devote more money to contraception and other family-planning options opposed by religious conservatives and scaled back by the administration.

Hmm, so the lobbyists are demanding:

(1) Expanding family-planning options for poor women.

(2) Scaling back the focus on abstinence education.

(3) Devoting more money to contraception and other family-planning options.

Birth control and sex education; I thought we were talking about abortion demands. Shouldn't even a minimally competent reporter have noticed that none of the demands mentioned in the article have anything to do with abortion?

Last, but not least, since this whole think got started because I was interested to find out the position on abortion of those most responsible for taking back the House [defined by me as those in House races where party control changed], I looked up the information.

Here are the actual, you know, facts: Out of 25 elected candidates, 8 clearly state that they are pro-choice, 2 oppose choice, 12 don't state their position on this issue, 2 have no position statement, but, in my opinion, give some indication (1 pro-choice, 1 opposed to it), and 1 I'm not sure about (he believes Americans have the right to make their own medical decisions , but does not favor abortion).

House races where party control changed:

(1) Harry Mitchell (D) Arizona 05 I support a woman's right to choose

(2) Gabrielle Giffords (D) Arizona 08 protect a woman’s right to choose

(3) Jerry McNerney (D) California 11 I support a woman’s right to choose

(4) Ed Pelmutter (D) Colorado 07 I will be a strong voice for a woman’s right to reproduction freedom

(5) Chris Murphy (D) Connecticut 05 [position not stated (PNS)]

(6) Timothy Edward Mahoney (D) Florida 16 [PNS]

(7) Ronald J. Klein (D) Florida 22 [PNS]

(8) Joe Donnelly (D) Indiana 02 I have consistently opposed abortion and will continue to do so in Congress

(9) John Bradley Ellsworth (D) Indiana 08 [PNS, but possibly for forced pregnancy: I believe in the value of life in all its forms, not just what people say to get elected.]

(10) Baron P. Hill (D) Indiana 09 [PNS]

(11) Bruce Braley (D) Iowa 01 Bruce supports choice

(12) Nancy Boyda (D) Kansas 02 [PNS]

(13) John Yarmuth (D) Kentucky 03 [PNS]

(14) Tim Walz (D) Minnesota 01 [PNS]

(15) Paul Hodes (D) New Hampshire 02 Protecting a woman’s right to choose

(16) Kristen Gillibrand (D) New York 20 [PNS]

(17) Michael Arcuri (D) New York 24 [PNS, but possibly pro-choice: "Raymond Meier [the opponent] has shown time and time again that he opposes critical measures that allow women freedom of choice," said Arcuri communications director Hayley Rumback.

(18) Heath Shuler (D) North Carolina 11 I am a pro-life Democrat

(19) Zachary T. Space (D) Ohio 18 [PNS]

(20) Jason Altmire (D) Pennsylvania 04 [PNS]

(21) Joe Sestak (D) Pennsylvania 07 I support that [Roe vs. Wade] decision.

(22) Patrick Murphy (D) Pennsylvania 08 Patrick is Pro-Choice.

(23) Chris Carney (D) Pennsylvania 10 [not sure, you decide: With the advice of their doctors and the counsel of their families and of their faith, Chris believes Americans have the right to make their own medical decisions., and I'm a Roman Catholic father of five — I do not favor abortion. I favor adoption, responsible education, and access to comprehensive reproductive health care.]

(24) Nick Lampson (D) Texas 22 [PNS]

(25) Steve Kagen (D) Wisconsin 08 [PNS]

If you happen to live in any of the "position not stated" districts and have, or are able to obtain, more info, please let me know and I'll update.

And if you happen to be Mr. Goldberg, for the love of FSM, don't just write to fill a quota. Show some respect for your readers and do some research. That goes doubly if you're a Los Angeles Times reporter. Aim to anchor your writing in reality.



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