"Democrats aim to be inclusive," blurts the headline in Amy Gardner's 5-paragraph item on how the Democratic convention "will feature a long list of female speakers and a slew of activities designed to make it the most inclusive convention in history, organizers announced Wednesday."
Gardner went on to note that Sandra Fluke and "women from many other walks of life" will take to the podium, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan, Caroline Kennedy, and actress Eva Longoria. Gardner left out that Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood was also announced as a speaker, and that Keenan served on this year's platform drafting committee, which shot down an effort by Democrats for Life of America to add "big tent" language to the platform. Somehow a handful of pro-choice speakers addressing contraception and abortion is diversity to the Washington Post.
Perhaps that's not so surprising, however, since, aside from Post columnist Melinda Henneberger, there's been no print coverage of the group's work to change the platform. There was also an August 18 guest entry by Sarah Kliff on the matter at Ezra Klein's Wonk Blog, but that's about it.
Democrats for Life notes that roughly a third of Democrats nationwide are pro-life and noted in an August 10 press release that:
- 61% of Democrats support parental consent for minors seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
- 60% of Democrats support a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
- 84% of Democrats support informed consent (Gallup, 2011);
- 49% of Democrats support an ultrasound requirement (Gallup, 2011);
- 59% of Democrats support a ban on partial-birth abortions (Gallup, 2011).
It's notable that in 2008, NARAL conducted a survey of Democratic Party delegates and boasted that a whopping 87 percent responded that they were pro-choice. That's wildly out of proportion with the rank and file, which is 34 percent pro-life and 58 percent pro-choice according to Gallup.
The 2008 Democratic platform countenanced no restrictions on abortions:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
Nor did the platform plank contain language that had been used in previous party platforms that promised that pro-lifers are welcome in the party.
This is the meek and mild language Democrats for Life wished for the platform committee -- upon which NARAL's Keenan sat as a member -- to ad:
"We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.
However, we can find common ground. We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies. We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support. We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term."
When it comes to diversity of opinion on abortion, the Democratic convention wants anything but. Fortunately for them, liberal papers like the Washington Post don't seem to think that's news, much less a problem.