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Pro-Life Dems

5:00 PM, Aug 27, 2008 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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It sounds like a joke: How many pro-life Democrats can you fit in a room? All of them! This afternoon, about 60 people gathered for a town-hall meeting of pro-life Democrats. Of this group, about eight were speakers and another dozen (at least) were media. Maybe the joke is right.

That said, the pro-life Democrat caucus is admirable, in its own way. Rep. Heath Shuler (who will run for national office some day, count on it) gave a pretty impressive accounting for life issues, not only attacking abortion, but making a point of noting that life spans from conception to natural death.

The most impressive of the pro-life Dems, however, was Rep. Lincoln Davis. Like the other pro-life Dems, Davis didn't talk much about Roe v. Wade (except, oddly enough, to blame Republican appointees on the Supreme Court for not overturning it). The pro-life Democratic position is now centered around reducing the number of abortions, with questions of law to follow at some later date.

And to this end, Davis hauled out a very interesting bit of data: In 1973, the year of Roe, 9 percent of pregnancies to unmarried women resulted in voluntary adoptions. By 2000, that number had collapsed to 1 percent, with abortion taking the hindmost. Davis and the other Democrats see the active promotion of adoption as a workable, immediate pathway to reducing abortion.

It's a good place to start.