I have to say that I’m getting really annoyed with claims that the new Democratic Party Platform is purposely appealing to conservative, anti-choice voters because of the language it contains supporting a woman’s right to have a child.
Like this article from The New Republic, which is on the website’s front page called “Why Pro-Lifers are Claiming Victory In the Democratic Platform Battle,” and argues that the language was put in there in order to pacify “pro-life” Democrats. Despite the argument here, the platform actually doesn’t talk about “abortion reduction.” It talks about unplanned pregnancy prevention and access to contraceptive services — as it should. Huge difference, get it right. Then there’s this LA Times article that claims the section is “explicit language intended to appeal to [pro-life evangelical] voters.” So . . . that would be after the bit about how the party unequivocally supports Roe and abortion access, including public funding for abortions? Because I can see how anything coming after that will really reel them in.
Let us take a look again at this supposedly placating paragraph:
The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.
What exactly is not pro-choice about that? Do Democrats not generally (at least in theory) support social programs? Do we hate mothers and children? Do we think that if you decide to have a kid, that was a “choice” and you’re therefore out on your own and deserve only scorn for insisting that you still deserve equal rights?
Look, I don’t know what the Dems were thinking when they put the language in. But I specifically praised them because I saw it as an attempt to come at the issue from a reproductive justice standpoint, not as an attempt to soften their pro-choice stance or to portray giving birth as a necessarily better or more moral choice than an abortion. And I still read it that way. So hey, maybe it just had a nice dual purpose. But when is this “pro-choice people want abortions for everyone and think we should provide no support to mothers” bullshit going to stop? Just because anti-choicers hate everything and anything that controls a woman’s fertility doesn’t mean that pro-choicers hate everything and anything that allows a woman to use it. And I can’t believe that the mainstream media still doesn’t get this. According to the LA Times, even NARAL — who was not exactly one of the first passengers on the reproductive justice train — agrees with the language:
“It’s high time that Americans start looking at the reproductive health movement as much broader than just abortion focused,” said Kelli Conlin, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. “This really underscores that nicely.”
Exactly. I honestly would be much more upset if they failed to include anything to this effect in the platform than I ever would be over the entirely appropriate statement supporting the right to have a child.
Do I lose my pro-choice card now? I guess it depends on who you ask.