White House Discerns 'Need for Abortion,' But Some Disagree

Conservatives object to the White House's goal of reducing "need for abortion."

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

As it works to draft a common-ground plan around abortion and related reproductive issues, the White House is careful to emphasize that is not trying to reduce the number of abortions.

Rather, it says, is aiming to reduce the need for abortion.

Interviewing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Deirdre McQuade, assistant director of policy and communications at the "pro-life secretariat," I was reminded this week that some religious groups object to the very idea of a need for abortion. Says McQuade: 

The phrase "reducing the need for abortion" is not a common-ground phrase. We would say that there is no need for abortion, that abortions are signs that we have not met the needs of women. There is no authentic need for abortion.

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  • Corrected on 06/30/09: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.