Conservative Evangelicals + White House = Confusing Abortion Meeting


The RH Reality Check team is in Boulder pounding out our exciting future but I wanted to point folks towards the meeting taking place at the White House next Tuesday.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) and the Family Research Council are set to meet with Josh DuBois, the head of this administration’s Faith Based Office to discuss abortion reduction. TBN.com’s David Brody writes:

The meeting plans to focus on the need to reduce abortions in the country and on responsible fatherhood programs. Also present at the meeting will be Tom McClusky, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council as well as representatives from the Christian Medical Association and Care Net, a pro-life Evangelical pregnancy crisis group.

And though Wendy Wright of CWA has this to say, via an email to The Brody File, about the meeting:

“The Obama administration says they want to be inclusive and represent all Americans. The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion. Funding abortion or abortion providers is one of the worst things that could be done. What the government funds, we get more of. We hope to begin a dialogue that results in policies which actually work, not just financially benefit certain interest groups like abortion providers.”

Kyle at Right Wing Watch parses out just how closed the extreme religious right really is to "common ground" work:

If the Obama administration thinks that it is going to win support for anything that it does on this issue from groups like CWA and FRC, it is sorely mistaken … which is something they will presumably learn once this meeting takes place.

These are not moderate, open-minded groups looking for common ground – they are militant, anti-choice groups committed to, above all, making abortion illegal everywhere and for everyone, with no exceptions.

It is hard to understand what the administration expects to gain by meeting with such groups to discuss efforts to reduce abortion considering that the only option such groups support is to outlaw them entirely.

Well said. If the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives wants to work on taking care of women’s health and lives why not focus on proven pregnancy prevention tools? Why not clear a path for faith based programs to provide access to health information and services to women who cannot afford care otherwise?

Read more at Right Wing Watch

With the Right to Life March in Washington, D.C. as a backdrop, this short documentary provides an overview of legislation filed in Congress to reduce abortion. Interviewed are Rachel Laser, Director of the Cultural Program at The Third Way, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Rosa, DeLauro (D-CT) two sponsors of the bill.

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To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • http://witch-words.blogspot.com invalid-0

    “The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion.”

    This is why I absolutely utterly hate, loathe, and despise the pseudo-centrist “abortion reduction” rhetoric the Obama campaign relies so heavily upon. I’m sorry, but with few exceptions, there is no common ground on abortion reduction. We want to reduce abortion by preventing unintended pregnancy; they want to reduce abortion by making it harder for women to obtain one. Regulating abortion doesn’t “help” women “choose alternatives”. A choice made when there is no other option is not a choice, and I think it’s disgusting that President Obama is handing them this chance to call themselves “effective” in this conduct.

    This is also why I think the faith-based office should have been closed down as of Jan 21st, but that’s a different question.

  • invalid-0

    Clap, clap , clap
    We cannot discuss abortion reduction without discussing contraceptives. It is so logical that I absolutely fail to understand how any rational person could quarrel with that.
    It should have been done years ago- but because of religious objections by the Roman Catholic Church and our government (Reagan) caving to the Vatican- widespread distribution of contraception/birth control was never implemented.
    The consequences have been tragic.

  • invalid-0

    You got it right. They give us no alternatives except to not have sex until 60 years old! That is not an alternative. But the men get Viagra. The vatican has not said a word about that.

  • http://all-americanmoms.com invalid-0

    I am conservative in many of my viewpoints; and I agree with the program above. I do fear the notion of giving something of value away (ie: health care) to someone solely based on irresponsible sexual activity- how many pregnancies will we cause for people who just want the healthcare? But overall, I think the notion of attacking the most popular explanation of why abortions are necessary (the poor, unwed mother) has merit and should be pursued. 200% of poverty level? Are we not supposed to flinch at that one?

    Here’s what I disagree with the most- the first portion of the video was completely one-sided and unfair. Posturing this issue as, “those damned, uneducated anti-pro-choice people are stopping us from preventing abortions”, goes well beyond irresponsible- it will offend the very people you are claiming to want to cooperate with. Asking the woman the question about whether there is “middle ground” on the issue was devisive at best- you didn’t present the question as, “would you support measures that simply prevent pregnancy?”. Of course if you believe that human life begins in early pregnancy you can’t find “middle ground” on the notion of killing it- this is the very snobby and corrisive attitude from the pro-choice camp that halted the discussion in the 80’s. Almost every pro-life person I know would (and do) support pregnancy avoidance programs (though they may not agree with the leftist tone, tenure and content I’m sure would be in these proposed programs).

    If you want to do actual good on this issue, stop polarizing and demonizing the separations between the beliefs and focus on the things that they agree on. Fundamnentally, the two sides disagree on when life begins. Logically, if we all agreed on this, the law and policies would be a no-brainer. I really appreciated the 2nd half of the video- after you stopped transparently blaming the pro-life people for the problem and started talking about the practial things that could be done to achieve real progress on what both sides can agree on.

    Bottom line for me: stop pretending that your head is in the cooperation game- get your head in the game.

  • invalid-0

    Ron,

    I would suggest that your post is deliberately divisive and written to offend the very people you pretend to be trying to communicate with. If that was not your intention it certainly is the result. Perhaps you should work on ‘getting your head in the game’ a bit more

  • invalid-0

    I do fear the notion of giving something of value away (ie: health care) to someone solely based on irresponsible sexual activity- how many pregnancies will we cause for people who just want the healthcare?

    If the health care takes the form of contraception (something that many people can’t afford to buy), then those pregnancies won’t be happening in the first place.

    But if a woman does get pregnant, what good is saving a few dollars on quality pre-natal care, if the child is then born with a preventable disability that will cost thousands of dollars to mitigate (special ed, etc.) for the next couple decades or so?

    Almost every pro-life person I know would (and do) support pregnancy avoidance programs

    Then the pro-lifers you know are pretty out of the mainstream. Most pro-life advocates are as dead set against contraception as they are against abortion—they believe that it enables promiscuity, and that distributing contraception will only result in more people having sex, and thus more pregnancies. They only pregnancy-avoidance program that they support is “keep your legs crossed.”

    You have to keep in mind, the mainstream pro-life movement is not about saving unborn children. If they were really so gung-ho about helping kids, children’s health insurance wouldn’t be the policy also-ran that it is in many states. It’s all about enforcing the way that they believe a woman should conduct herself sexually. Abortion, to them, is the ultimate shirking of responsibility, with contraception a close second. For them, sex = baby, and they want to make damn sure that equation isn’t broken.

    Which is why there’s really not a lot of common ground to be found. Logically, increasing the availability of contraception would reduce the demand for abortions. But that’s not going to go anywhere, because that’s not what the other side is really after.