“Compromise,” “consensus,” and “common ground” sound nice in theory, but in practice they’re some of politics’ most duplicitous terms. At TIME, Democrats for Life senior fellow Robert Christian writes of a proposal to help pro-lifers and pro-choicers get past “gridlock” in order to “better the lives of women and children—born and unborn.” Unfortunately, it turns out this supposed culture-war exit strategy is just a rerun of an old left-wing saw:
“A good place to start would be for pro-lifers to embrace Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Opportunity Plan and for Senator Gillibrand and other pro-choice figures and activists to embrace their support, if it is offered.
“The plan calls for a fully self-sustaining paid family and medical leave program, an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, universal pre-K, measures to make childcare more affordable, and equal pay for equal work.”
And how will this improve the abortion status quo?
“If pro-choice advocates are serious about choice, they should be working hard to ensure that no woman seeks an abortion because she feels it is an economic necessity, as this is incompatible with authentic choice. For pro-life advocates, this same goal will save the lives of many unborn children. Increased economic security and opportunity, greater flexibility at the workplace, and greater access to quality childcare and education for their children will lead many women to choose life.”
Ever notice how whenever Democrats push “compromise,” it’s pretty much always a laundry list of their own policy demands, with nary a single concession to their opponents in sight? The truth is, liberals in general and pro-aborts in particular are always trying to emotionally blackmail us into rubber-stamping their economic ideas, often with the slur that disagreeing with them means we don’t care about children after they’re born.
But don’t expect this so-called Opportunity Plan to actually “benefit the economy, strengthen families, increase opportunity, and empower women.” For example, studies by the Congressional Budget Office and Employment Policies Institute, and a letter to Barack Obama signed by over five hundred distinguished economists all conclude that a minimum wage hike to $10.10 would destroy jobs, possibly as many as a million, for the simple, critical reason that all economic decisions involve tradeoffs of one kind or another; you can’t simply mandate that more money be spent one way without expecting its owners to make up the difference somewhere else.
As another example, “equal pay for equal work” is a fictitious issue. Turning it into a holiday doesn’t change the fact that the gender gap is not a disparity between a man and a woman of equal experience doing the same job equally well for different pay (which is already illegal), but a statistical average that reflects men and women making very different career choices (hilariously, earlier this week Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the White House’s own gender gap by citing the very factors his boss won’t admit also apply to the rest of the country’s employers).
But who cares about the little things like “results”? Christian suggests that if pro-lifers would “simply embrace” his and Gillibrand’s lefty wish-list without trying to “extrac[t] the perfect set of concessions”—translation: if you just unconditionally surrender and don’t even ask for any protection for the unborn in return—we would “demonstrate [our] authentic commitment to improving women’s lives and building the culture of life”:
“They would dispel the notion that they are pro-birth, not pro-life. They would show that they are above petty politics and not just another special interest. They can show that they are more interested in protecting the lives of children than helping Republicans win the next election.”
Bull. Your fellow Democrats already know how authentic our commitment is. All of you already know that Republicans don’t hate women, Mitt Romney didn’t hate poor people, and Paul Ryan didn’t want to toss little old ladies off cliffs. You already know the real reasons people disagree with you about economics and the welfare state. You already know the pro-life movement, led overwhelmingly by women, isn’t a secret front for the patriarchy.
We know this because your side never gives us credit when we do show an “authentic commitment to improving women’s lives.” The fact that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood already cover all non-abortive forms of contraception, satisfying over 95% of their insured female employees, hasn’t lessened the Obama Administration’s desire to see them in court or liberals’ demonizing of them. And the fact that pro-lifers take time out of their own lives and reaching into their own wallets (rather than outsourcing our charity to the state at the ballot box) to help women in crisis pregnancies hasn’t done a thing to mitigate pro-aborts’ seething contempt for pro-life charity work in the area.
Robert Christian can decry both sides for “prefer[ring] to demonize their opponents and wage the culture war,” but not only does he fail to assign responsibility for that demonizing where it belongs, the solution he offers assumes that pro-aborts’ pretext for demonizing us is sincere and valid, and that the onus is on pro-lifers to appease it.
That doesn’t sound like common ground so much as it does scorched earth. But hey, what else should we expect from a “pro-life” organization that deceptively defends such an infamously pro-abortion law as ObamaCare?