The Common Good

Q&A: 'The Abortion Debate Has Been a Bankrupt Discussion'

Source: Newsweek
Date: August 26, 2008

In this year's party platform, Democrats reaffirmed their support of Roe v. Wade while taking on a new commitment: reducing the number of abortions in the United States. NEWSWEEK's Sarah Kliff spoke with pro-choice evangelical leader Jim Wallis, who led the revision efforts. Excerpts:

What do you think of the current abortion debate we're having?
The abortion debate has been a bankrupt discussion for a long time on both sides. There's no attention given to low-income women, even though three-quarters of women who get abortions say the reason was they couldn't afford the child.

How does the Democrats' change to their platform reshape that discussion?
Democrats have supported a woman's right to choose, but now this says it's also a woman's decision to have her child and that that's supported. That's really important.

What does it mean in terms of policy?
The Democrats now should support policies that aim for better health care for low-income women, make adoption easier and programs that prevent pregnancy, including contraception education.

Looking to next week, do you think the Republicans will also commit to abortion reduction?
I'd also like to see a commitment to abortion reduction from the Republicans, but that's probably too much to hope for.