Well, y’all, it turns out that I’m a political blogger (even if Kleinheider seems to question whether or not I deserve the title) and as such, I’m going to take the opportunity to blog about Tennessee Politics.
Bill Hobbs today has a post questioning why Democratic State Senator Doug Henry is not flaunting his endorsement by Tennessee Right to Life.
Is Sen. Henry afraid that being too public about his endorsement by
a pro-life group would anger the pro-abortion voters amongst the
left-leaning groups that have endorsed him? Has Sen. Henry decided to
focus on turning out the Democratic base for him in the November
election? Is he abandoning Republicans and conservative Democrats who
have kept him in office in the many long years since his district’s
political demographics shifted decidedly Republican?
Whatever the reason, it is clear that Sen. Henry isn’t proud to have
been endorsed by the state’s leading pro-life organization – and it is
equally clear that pro-life moderates and conservatives in the 21st
Senate District have good reason to wonder if Sen. Henry is abandoning
their cause in his hunt for more votes from liberal special interests
in a district that is increasingly conservative.
I have two minor questions–1. How does one become the leading pro-life organization? and 2. How is this proof that Henry is ashamed? I’m not clear on that.
Now, I’m not voting for Henry, as my vote has already been promised to that cutie Bob Krumm. And I’m pro-abortion (not that I think that everyone should have an abortion, but in that I think it’s none of your business what a woman and her doctor decide is necessary for her and that I believe abortions should be legal and that our efforts to curb abortions should go into making it as easy as possible for women to make a positive choice to have children, which you all already know, but I say again anyway). But still, a quick perusal of the Tennessee Right to Life website gives me some indication that there might be other good reasons why Henry would not flaunt an endorsement from these folks, with “being ashamed that folks might realize he’s anti-abortion” not even being on the list.
Let’s count them, shall we?
1. Their numbers seem wonky. For instance, they report an estimated 1,312,990 abortions in 2002. The CDC reports that there were roughly 854,122 abortions in 2002. The number of abortions performed each year is not as high as they suggest and is in fact declining.
2. “MYTH: The typical abortive women is a poor, black teen.
FACT: Two-thirds of women getting abortions are between the ages of 20 and 24.
Sixty-eight percent are white. And two-thirds have an annual income of over $11,000.”
As Senator Allen can attest, it’s bad news for politicians to be too closely linked with things that carry even a hint of racism. Suggesting that abortions are a real problem because white women have them (and would be less of a problem if the myth that the typical woman having an abortion is a poor, black teenager was true) has a strong hint of racism.
3. Tennessee Right to Life mocks non-Christian belief systems–“Father God never said ANYTHING about a mother earth”–and Henry may not wish to alienate potential voters by aligning himself with an organization that disparages the beliefs of non-monotheists.
I could go on, but I’m rapidly running out of time. But those are three big reasons why someone who is anti-abortion might be reticent to align himself with Tennessee Right to Life without it having anything to do with him turning his back on his cause.