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September 10, 2012

Democrats and Abortion: Why the DNC "Cheering" Disturbs Me So Much

I was struck by the fact that abortion was so front and center at the Democratic National Convention. During one night of the DNC, I tweeted:

It deeply disturbs me to see a stadium full of people cheer whenever abortion is affirmed. #DNC2012

– Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) September 6, 2012

It was the most retweeted statement I ever made.

I understand that they were cheering, in their minds, the "choice," but that choice is to have an abortion-- to end a life. To stop a beating heart. As a pro-life person, I believe that abortion is wrong. Yet, I think a stadium full of people cheering it is tragic.

The Democratic Platform expresses their view of abortion this way:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

In simpler terms, that means freedom to choose abortion until the moment of birth (or partially born) and the government paying for it if the person cannot.

Needless to say, I was struck by how aggressive the Democrats were on the subject, no longer talking about reducing abortion or making it "rare," but cheering its mention. It turns out I was not the only one who noticed.

Yesterday, the Christian Post had a helpful story on liberal commentator Cokie Roberts reaction.

The Democratic National Convention presented an extremist view on the issue of abortion, according to Cokie Roberts, a liberal political analyst for ABC News and NPR.

"I think this Democratic Convention was really over-the-top in terms of abortion. Every single speaker talked about abortion," Roberts said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"At some point, you start to alienate people. Thirty percent of Democrats are pro-life," she added.

Roberts remarks came during a panel discussion that also included Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., and co-chair of the Democratic National Convention's platform committee.

Booker was in the middle of criticizing Republicans for not including a rape exception in their pro-life platform. After Booker implied that Republicans are extremist on abortion, Roberts challenged Booker on why the platform committee removed the phrase saying that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare," which had been in the platform since Bill Clinton ran on that platform in 1992.

"Hold on, stop for a second," Booker interrupted, "we had leaders in the Catholic Church, leaders in the Catholic faith, in our convention. I'm every single speaker, I was one of them, I didn't mention abortion at all. But, what I did mention was that we don't think we should be gutting family planning. We don't think we should be attacking Planned Parenthood. If you want to make abortion safe, legal and rare, support women's rights, women's access to health care."

"But you took that out of the platform," Roberts retorted.

"You're worried about those three words. I'm worried about real substantive policy, like access to health planning for families," Booker replied.

Roberts was not the only one to notice that pro-abortion views were prominently featured during the Democrat's convention. Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks made a similar point often while providing commentary for PBS during the convention.

On Tuesday night, for instance, he said he noticed "how much the crowd goes crazy and how passionate they are about abortion and gay marriage and the social issues."

In 1992, President Clinton talked about making abortion "safe, legal, and rare." Now the DNC cheers its mention-- dozens of times-- and never mentions the "rare." Perhaps the cheering points shows us that the "rare" part was just a talking point from another era.

It is no secret that I am pro-life. However, there are obviously people who disagree with me. But, if you are going to be pro-choice, at least don't cheer the idea-- at least long to make abortion "rare."

Whatever your views on abortion, and whether you're Republican or Democrat, cheering is not the right response.

If you missed it when I posted it, you might want to watch or read Cardinal Dolan's closing prayer at the DNC.

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