She called on abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion campaigners to form a broad alliance to support sexual education - including abstinence counseling - family planning, and morning-after emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault as ways to reduce unintended pregnancies. "We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women," Mrs. Clinton told the annual conference of the Family Planning Advocates of New York State. "The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place."This is the sort of obvious common ground that I've been losing faith in politicians to identify. It's recognizing the common decency in political opponents that can lead to actual positive change in the world. But impressively, the Senator faces an uphill battle even though everyone agrees with her, because now on believes she agrees with them. Americans, see, don't like compromise. And that's what they think they're seeing here. Ah, Senator Clinton says something that sort of has to do with abortion, which Christian groups agree with. She's caving to political pressure! She's being criticized on both sides. Here's the Right:
"I think she's trying to adopt a values-oriented language, but it lacks substance, at least if you compare it to her record," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council in Washington. "If you look at Senator Clinton's voting record on this issue, it's like Planned Parenthood's condoms - it's defective."And here's the Left:
"I understood what Senator Clinton meant when she said abortion could be a sad and tragic choice, but we see women express relief more than anything else that they have the freedom to choose," said Martha Stahl, director for public relations and marketing for Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood. "Mrs. Clinton really seemed to be reaching out here."Both criticisms miss the point; Ms. Stahl, she's not saying anything about limiting abortion rights. Mr. Perkins, she's not claiming to be pro-life. That's *not* a common-ground. She's talking about something else -- something that *is* a common ground. If you think that it's bad when young women end up in unwanted pregnancies, then that's one issue you agree with the Senator on. And maybe if you'll open your eyes, you'll see it's an issue you agree with the people on the other side of the aisle on.