Democrats, Abortion Advocates Won’t Focus Only on Abortion in 2006 Elections

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats, Abortion Advocates Won’t Focus Only on Abortion in 2006 Elections Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Knowing that polls show Americans taking a pro-life stance on the issue of abortion, Democrats and pro-abortion groups are planning to switch tactics in the 2006 elections and focus on contraception instead.

They think more Americans are supportive of birth control than abortion and it will provide pro-abortion candidates with a better edge.

According to a news report in The Hill, top Democratic strategists say abortion has become a liability for their candidates in recent years. With polls showing 55 percent of Americans and a good percentage of Democrats are pro-life and oppose all or most abortions, the party needs a new campaign approach.

Democratic strategists also told The Hill that pro-abortion people are not politically engaged right now and that focusing on contraception may help.

Abortion advocacy groups and pro-abortion lawmakers are rallying around a bill sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the Prevention First Act.

The bill would prohibit health insurance plans from excluding coverage for birth control drugs and devices. It would also require the federal Health Department to provide information on the morning after pill to all health care providers. Hospitals that receive any federal funds would be forced to give the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion, to women who have been raped.

Anna Greenberg, a pollster who does work for NARAL, told The Hill that “The issue of abortion is very different from the issue of prevention, access to birth control and access to comprehensive sex education."

"’I think that Senator Reid’s prevention-first agenda is not just smart in policy terms but smart in political terms because there is overwhelming support in the public for access to birth control and comprehensive sex education," she explained.

Celinda Lake, a pro-abortion pollster who also works with NARAL, said her surveys find Americans favor Reid’s bill by a 3-1 margin.

“It has the potential to be both a wedge and a turnout issue post-Alito," she said.

Although abortion advocates may not focus entirely on abortion in the campaign leading up to this year’s Congressional elections, abortion will still be an issue.

Lake told The Hill that the debate over abortion bans, like the one in South Dakota, is waking up the pro-abortion movement and will help turn out voters.

“Lazy Democratic women who are very pro-choice are very concerned about the combination of Alito and South Dakota," she said.