Saying Obama’s attempts to explain his stand on partial birth abortion and treatments for abortion survivors “seemed evasive,” Father Kavanaugh asked: “Can you just simply affirm your conviction that any newborn, even after an abortion attempt, should be given effective life-sustaining treatment?”
Father Kavanaugh recommended Obama engage in outreach to Democrats for Life of America and Feminists for Life, support Rev. Jim Wallis’ “abortion-reducing agenda,” and engage pro-life arguments.
“You may find that the position of most American men and women is quite different from Naral’s,” he said, advising Obama to press Sen. John McCain and his supporters on the apparent inconsistency of the Republican presidential candidate’s support for embryonic stem cell research.
He concluded his essay in “America” with a rhetorical question: “With your commitment to reasoned, evidence-based and respectful discourse, are you able to challenge your party to welcome pro-life Catholics into its supposed big tent?”
Democrats for Life Reaction
Kristen Day, director of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), spoke with CNA in a Tuesday interview about the Obama campaign’s treatment of pro-life Democrats.
Though Day said the Obama campaign has not contacted DFLA specifically in relation to Father Kavanaugh’s essay, the campaign is “definitely trying to do outreach to pro-life voters.”
“I think since 2004 we’ve really been talking to the Democratic leadership about the importance of trying to expand the ‘big tent’ of the Democratic Party,” she explained.
“There will be a place for pro-life Democrats at the Democratic convention as well,” Day said.
Referring to reports that pro-life Democrat Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is being considered for a speaking slot at the convention to be held in Denver later this month, Day said DFLA would be “thrilled” to see Casey speak about pro-life issues.
While it has not been reported that Casey’s hypothetical convention speech would address abortion, Day said “I can’t see him getting up there and not talking about being pro-life. It just wouldn’t make much sense for him to speak.”
“Casey symbolizes the pro-life cause; his name is associated with the issue. That would be the whole point of having him speak.”
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Day added that the DFLA will be at the Democratic National Convention to host a Hall of Fame reception for pro-life Democrats and a town hall meeting on abortion reduction.
She said that DFLA has worked with the Democratic platform committee to include pro-life issues, especially in pursuit of her organization’s “95/10” campaign which aspires to reduce the U.S. abortion rate by 95 percent in ten years.
While confirming that the proposed 2008 Democratic Party Platform has dropped the word “rare” from its stand that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” Day said two more paragraphs were added discussing the prevention of abortion and the need to support pregnant women.
“We need to provide more support and options for women to carry to term, instead of treating abortion as only option,” Day stated, adding that DFLA is “strongly and unequivocally” pro-life in its support for candidates and policies.
Feminists for Life Reaction
President of Feminists for Life Serrin M. Foster also spoke with CNA on Tuesday, noting that Feminists for Life (FFL) is non-partisan, but also a “very unique group.”