Jacqueline Salmon has a front-pager on pro-lifers who don’t want to restrict abortion. She makes them out to be a big and influential new movement. It would be interesting to get some measure of how much credit or blame the “pro-lifers for Obama” should get for his increased support among Catholics and evangelicals. But Salmon is much too credulous. Speaking of these activists, she says, “Their efforts, they said, reflect the political reality that legal challenges to abortion rights will not be successful, especially after Barack Obama’s victory this month in the presidential election. . .” This description mischaracterizes these activists, who were almost all advocates of Obama’s victory rather than people who were sadly resigned to it.
Salmon, additionally, treats these pro-lifers as a “new movement.” But Sojourners has been around forever, as have most of these other folks. The only thing new about them is the amount of media attention they have recently been getting. Finally, she completely ignores any evidence that abortion restrictions reduce the number of abortion, ignores Obama’s past commitments to taxpayer funding of abortion, and ignores Michael New’s dissection of the activists’ vaunted “empirical research” on how to reduce abortion without restrictions.
Still, we learn something from Salmon: It is indeed possible for pro-lifers to get friendly treatment from the Washington Post, at least as long as they are supporting pro-choice politicians.