Magazine February 23, 2009, Issue

The Hot Seat

A man walks past an advertisement for the Democratic National Convention at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C September 2, (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
Can pro-life Democrats continue to make a difference?

There are more pro-life Democrats, even now, than you might think. There’s no denying that the numbers have dropped off over the years. In the early years of the abortion debate, pro-lifers could boast — if that’s the right word — the support of Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin. There were about 100 pro-life Democrats in the House in the late 1970s. Democratic voters were more likely to be pro-life than Republican voters even in the late 1980s. Since then the party rank-and-file has moved left on the issue, and the Kennedys and Durbins have moved with them.

But in recent

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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