Abortion
The reasons why women have abortions are diverse and vary dramatically across the world. Some of the most common reasons are to postpone childbearing to a more suitable time or to focus energies and resources on existing children. Others include being unable to afford a child either in terms of the direct costs of raising a child or the loss of income while she is caring for the child, lack of support from the father, inability to afford additional children, desire to provide schooling for existing children, disruption of one's own education, relationship problems with their partner, a perception of being too young to have a child, unemployment, and not being willing to raise a child conceived as a result of rape or incest, among others. An additional factor is risk to maternal or fetal health, which was cited as the primary reason for abortion in over a third of cases in some countries and as a significant factor in only a single-digit percentage of abortions in other countries. An American study in 2002 concluded that about half of women having abortions were using a form of contraception at the time of becoming pregnant. Inconsistent use was reported by half of those using condoms and three-quarters of those using the birth-control pill; 42% of those using condoms reported failure through slipping or breakage. The Guttmacher Institute estimated that "most abortions in the United States are obtained by minority women" because minority women "have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy. Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice. 10 Abortion Arguments: 10 Arguments For Abortion, 10 Arguments Against Abortion

Democrats Inch Right on Abortion

8/31/17
from The Wall Street Journal,
8/31/17:

Even Nancy Pelosi is open to dissent. But that approach carries risks of its own.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in May that the Democratic Party should not require its candidates to support the right to an abortion. “This is not a rubber-stamp party,” she told the Washington Post. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed. In July Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Hill he would be open to funding pro-life candidates in 2018 House races. California Gov. Jerry Brown said on “Meet the Press” that candidates’ positions on abortion “should not be the basis for their exclusion.” We’ve heard this talk before about a “big tent” party. What’s new is the sudden emphasis on accepting antiabortion Democrats as candidates and funding their campaigns. Last year this was not in Democrats’ plans. The Democratic platform took a rigid pro-choice position that called for taxpayer funding of abortions. The advocacy group Naral Pro-Choice America was thrilled, calling it “the best ever for reproductive freedom.” That was before Donald Trump had won the presidency with a boost from traditionally Democratic voters.

The Democrats’ recent step to the right on abortion is small but significant. It shows party leaders have awakened to their weakness on social issues. “Pelosi knows that if Democrats run fanatical pro-abortion candidates in purple districts, they’re not going to win the House” in 2018, says Jeff Bell, a Republican strategist at the American Principles Project. Yet while easing up on pro-life candidates may soften the Democrats’ image as the party of abortion, it brings at least two troubles of its own. The first is an increasingly bitter debate inside the party. Howard Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, reacted to Mrs. Pelosi’s comment by pledging not to contribute to the congressional campaign committee if it funds antiabortion candidates. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) opposed the Pelosi position. Planned Parenthood and Naral took strong exception. The argument quickly spread to the states.

Fighting over abortion isn’t likely to aid a party trying to recover after a stinging defeat. Resentments are raw. When Kristen Day of Democrats for Life suggested her group would work with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly rebuked her: “The DCCC has no interest in working with Democrats for Life of America, despite their attempts.” Polls, by the way, show 3 in 10 Democratic voters are pro-life. The other problem is the political landscape. It’s changed. For decades Democrats skillfully used the abortion issue to tar pro-life Republicans as enemies of women’s health, among other unsavory things. Republican candidates were on the defensive and not very good at it. Many wished the issue would fade away. Today the roles are reversed. When Democrats move their way, even slightly, it means the pro-life movement is gaining, says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “We’re on offense.”

As a coalition party of liberal identity groups, Democrats have few options on social issues. Minorities, gay people and immigrants will erupt should their interests be threatened. Tinkering with the party’s image on abortion was less risky. But it doesn’t offer much of a reward either.

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