News story from POLITICO - "No easy way out for Dems on abortion"
On this hottest of hot-button social issues, few Democrats have positioned themselves as cautiously as Obama. Though his campaign-trail critics warned he would be the "most pro-abortion president in history," Obama has long presented abortion not as an ideological hand grenade but as a social challenge that can be tackled in a measured, nonpartisan way.
Since taking office, Obama has not backed off his support for abortion rights. Just days after his inauguration, Obama reversed the "" banning federal funding to groups that discuss or provide abortions and withdrew restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. He nominated a lawyer to head his who once worked as legal director for the abortion-rights group and plucked a top political aide from the leadership of EMILY's List, the group that helps female candidates who support abortion rights.
When Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the White House tacitly signaled its confidence in her support for the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, with telling reporters Obama spoke with his nominee about the concept of "settled law" and "left very comfortable with her interpretation of the Constitution."
But if Obama's policy choices have been aligned with a liberal agenda on abortion, he has also dutifully minimized opportunities for conflict with opponents of abortion. Obama first revealed his method when he signed the executive order yanking the Mexico City policy on funding for groups that provide abortion-related services — in a closed-press ceremony that avoided drawing attention to the policy shift.This is what I meant about sneaky...
Activists on the right say Obama's carefully parsed positions haven't won him any converts — but even they concede the president has succeeded in averting potentially volatile confrontations.
"He wants to say things that he thinks we want to hear," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, who heads the , a group that seeks to elect female candidates who oppose abortion. "I'm not talking about the pro-life movement; I'm talking about the vast majority of Americans who don't want to spend their money on abortion."Call, email or fax your congressman today. Tell them if you do not want your tax dollars used to provide abortions.