Well, this is a rather explicit display of liberal intolerance and one that points to their issue with people of a religious bend. Thomas Groome, a professor at Boston College who teaches theology, penned an op-ed in The New York Times about how the Democrats need to stop being the abortion party if they want to win again, noting how the Democrats’ hard left shift on abortion is chipping away at the Catholic voting bloc that has been part of the party’s base for decades. The reaction was as expected from rabid pro-abortion liberals.
Imani Gandy of Rewire News tweeted that Groome should “f*** off.” CNN’s Keith Boykin said, “This is baloney. I’m pro-choice, and I’m not going to change my views to win an election. Nor should the Democrats.” The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray “To win, Democrats should ignore the needs and lives of women who vote for them.”
These folks never read the piece. It’s evident since Groome never said they needed to stop being pro-choice, just not be so gung-ho to the point where it seems like all you care about is abortion. It was a very nuanced approach that the Left took, as they have to all become pro-life to win. That is precisely wrong.
Polls indicate that the nation holds mixed views about abortion. About 80 percent of Americans don’t want to criminalize it again. At the same time, at least 60 percent of Americans — and most likely a higher percentage of Catholics — oppose abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Yet despite the clear complexity of those attitudes, political discourse largely ignores the possibility of a middle ground between making all abortions legal or prohibiting them entirely. Mrs. Clinton, like most Democratic politicians, fell into this either/or trap last year.
To begin with, Democratic politicians should publicly acknowledge that abortion is an issue of profound moral and religious concern. As a candidate, Barack Obama did just that in a 2008 interview, saying, “Those who diminish the moral elements of the decision aren’t expressing the full reality of it.”
Democrats should not threaten to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal funds to be used for abortion except in extreme circumstances. They could also champion an aggressive program to promote adoption by strengthening the Adoption Assistance Act of 1980 and streamlining adoption procedures. The regulations in many states seem designed to discourage it.
Democratic politicians should also continue to frame their efforts to improve health and social services as a way to decrease abortions. The abortion rate dropped 21 percent from 2009 to 2014. That downward trend would most likely end if Republicans eliminate contraception services provided through the Affordable Care Act.
“If Democrats want to regain the Catholic vote, they must treat abortion as a moral issue, work for its continued reduction and articulate a more nuanced message than, ‘We support Roe v. Wade,’” he concluded. He mentioned the differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on how they both framed the issue in the debates. For Clinton, it was through a legal, not moral lens. Groome added that Trump decided to describe a late-term abortion when he said, “ripping the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day,” but he noted that 90 percent of abortions are within the first trimester. Late term abortion is incredibly unpopular, though the first trimester abortions are not seen on controversial. The point here is that abortion is a moral argument. There is no way around it.
Liberals, you can be pro-choice and still feel that it’s a rather abhorrent procedure and it should be reduced. And Groome mentions how the Obamacare regulations on contraception could reverse the downward trend in the number of abortions that happen every year. He just defended an Obamacare regulation that is loathed by conservatives. Did you guys even bother to read this piece?
This circles back to an Atlantic article from December of 2016, where reporter Emma Green interviewed Michael Wear, who headed the Obama White House’s faith-based outreach operations. Wear is a conservative evangelical Christian, who said that the Democratic Party has a God problem, which stems from open animosity towards people of faith and religious illiteracy. Here’s the portion of the interview that dealt with abortion, where Wear reiterated what Groome mentioned in his NYT op-ed about viewing the issue of abortion through a moral lens that liberals have seemed to shun:
Green: One could argue that among most Democratic leaders, there’s a lack of willingness to engage with the question of abortion on moral terms. Even Tim Kaine, for example—a guy who, by all accounts, deeply cares about his Catholic faith, and has talked about his personal discomfort with abortion—fell into line.
How would you characterize Democrats’ willingness to engage with the moral question of abortion, and why is it that way?
Wear: There were a lot of things that were surprising about Hillary’s answer [to a question about abortion] in the third debate. She didn’t advance moral reservations she had in the past about abortion. She also made the exact kind of positive moral argument for abortion that women’s groups—who have been calling on people to tell their abortion stories—had been demanding.
The Democratic Party used to welcome people who didn’t support abortion into the party. We are now so far from that, it’s insane. This debate, for both sides, is not just about the abortion rate; it’s not just about the legality of it. It’s a symbolic debate. It’s symbolic on the pro-choice side about the autonomy of women and their freedom to do what they want with their bodies. On the pro-life side, they care not just about the regulations around abortion, but whether there’s a cultural affirmation of life.
Even the symbolic olive branches have become less acceptable.
And there rests how Groome got an undeserved tongue-lashing by the left, who obviously didn’t read the article, for suggesting that the Democrats need to acknowledged the moral context of this debate.
“Reaching out to evangelicals doesn’t mean you have to become pro-life. It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are,” Wear told Green.
And it’s not like this was the first time someone has mentioned this issue with the Democratic Party in regards to their position on abortion. There are pro-life Democrats out there. In 2012, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts observed how the Democratic National Convention was “over the top” when it came to abortion aptly noting that 30 percent of Democrats are pro-life.
The issue of abortion is deeply entrenched in morality and religion. The Democrats’ unwillingness to even consider moral arguments, coupled with living in urban progressive bubbles, has driven them further left and rabid in its defense. In neither piece do we have people saying that Democrats are dead if they don’t become pro-life, but maybe they can have a more constructive dialogue about it, while maybe peel off Republican votes in the process—maybe. While pro-lifers—and I consider myself one (I’m adopted)—view abortion as murder and immoral, we have to understand that tens of millions of Americans have a different view. I abhor abortion, but reduction in its frequency is a measured win—and more importantly, those who are pro-choice can agree with that too. Sadly, even considering the moral angle to this complex issue can summon the progressive Twitter mob to call for your hanging.
Last Note: I almost forgot–Democrats booed God at the 2012 DNC as well.