Progressives on Christian Radio

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From TIME’s Amy Sullivan:

There’s been growing momentum over the past few years behind an
alternative approach to the abortion issue, an effort some people
refer to as “abortion reduction.” The idea is that whether they’re
pro-choice or pro-life, most people agree that it would be a good
thing if the abortion rate could be lowered–whether through
preventing unplanned pregnancies or by providing economic and social
supports for women who would like to carry their pregnancies to term.

The effort got a big boost this year when Barack Obama plugged it
in his acceptance speech. And it seems to resonate with Americans who
are tired of the shouting matches that usually occur whenever abortion
comes up–when Obama mentioned it again in the third presidential
debate, focus groups dials soared.

This morning, a religious coalition is going up on the air with a
radio ad calling for support for abortion reduction policies. The ad is running on
Christian radio stations in 10 swing states, including Ohio, Indiana,
North Carolina, and Missouri. Here’s how it starts: “With 1 in 5
pregnancies in America ending in abortion and the number of abortions
unchanged from 32 years ago, it’s time to stop the political posturing
and get serious about protecting life.” (The full script and other
resources are available at an accompanying website:

The ad buy comes at the same time that a progressive Catholic
organization–Catholics United–is sending a direct mail piece to 50,000
households in Ohio and Pennsylvania, asking Catholic voters to
consider ways to deal with abortion apart from trying to overturn
Roe. And it argues for an expanded definition of “pro-life”
that includes opposition to torture, support for universal health
care, and alleviating poverty.

Will these messages make any difference in states with large
Catholic and Evangelical populations? The economy is already trumping
social issues for many moderate-to-conservative religious voters. But
there’s still a significant number of undecided Catholics and
Evangelicals out there. In 2004, they broke heavily for Bush. If they
break for Obama this year, it may be because this new approach