David Brooks: The Abortion Memo

To: Democratic Party Leaders

From: Imaginary Democratic Consultant

Re: Late-Term Abortions

Dear Democratic Leaders,

Last week I watched as our senators voted down the Republican bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. Our people hung together. Only three Democrats voted with the other side. Yet as I was watching I kept wondering: How much is our position on late-term abortions hurting us? How many progressive priorities are we giving up just so we can have our way on this one?

Let me start with some history. Before Roe. v. Wade, the abortion debate looked nothing like it does today. Many leading anti-abortion groups were on the left. The first pro-life rally on the National Mall was organized by the National Youth Pro-Life Coalition, which a co-founder described as “an extremely liberal group.” The National Catholic Welfare Conference endorsed a platform that included a right to a living wage, a right to collective bargaining and a right to life from the moment of conception.

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