By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
This morning's White House conference call kicking off its abortion-reduction initiative focused largely on asking participants to submit information about abortion-reduction programs that have already worked at the local level. Led by President Obama's chief domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes, the White House announced that it would sponsor a series of meetings in coming months in search of common ground on abortion reduction. The meetings would include both supporters and opponents of abortion rights.
"Barnes said that the White House was not going to try to change anybody's mind on abortion and that she knew people had long-held convictions on various sides of the debate," one participant on the call, an abortion-rights foe, tells me. "But she said her assignment from the president was to seek common ground to prevent unintended pregnancies, including teen pregnancy; to reduce the need for abortions; and to support families for whom economic concerns were an issue. They also talked about promoting adoption."
No word from the White House on how many people joined the 15-minute call. Participants were in listen-only mode.