Pro-choice is bad for Democrats?

Melinda Henneberger has an interesting piece in the New York Times today in which she warns the Democrats that if they maintain their militantly pro-abortion stance, they will continue to lose voters:

Opponents of abortion rights saw 2004 as the chance of a lifetime to overturn Roe, with a movement favorite already in the Oval Office and several spots on the Supreme Court likely to open up. A handful of Catholic bishops spoke out more plainly than in any previous election season and moved the Catholic swing vote that Al Gore had won in 2000 to Mr. Bush.

The standard response from Democratic leaders has been that anyone lost to them over this issue is not coming back — and that regrettable as that might be, there is nothing to be done. But that is not what I heard from these voters.

Many of them, Catholic women in particular, are liberal, deep-in-their-heart Democrats who support social spending, who opposed the war from the start and who cross their arms over their chests reflexively when they say the word “Republican.” Some could fairly be described as desperate to find a way home. And if the party they’d prefer doesn’t send a car for them, with a really polite driver, it will have only itself to blame.

What would it take to win them back? Respect, for starters — and not only on the night of the candidate forum on faith. As it turns out, you cannot call people extremists and expect them to vote for you. But real respect would require an understanding that what supporters of abortion rights genuinely see as a hard-earned freedom, opponents genuinely see as a self-inflicted wound and — though I can feel some of you tensing as you read this — a human rights issue comparable to slavery.

The pro-abortion philosophy is based upon the belief that an unborn baby is the “property” of the woman who conceived that baby, so she can abort it if she wants to. It can be argued that this is similar to the argument that slave masters used: the slave was his “property” so he was free to do with him what he wanted. The pro-life philosophy is based upon the belief that an unborn baby is a whole person, albeit one who can’t be seen except on ultrasounds, and cannot be owned even for the short period that he is inside his mother’s womb. It’s this pro-life philosophy that the militant pro-abortion crowd does not understand or even want to accept as a legitimate point of view.

Update: On a related note, Michelle Malkin remembers the other victims of abortion.

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