Obama Seeks Common Ground on Abortion

The administration is working with advisers to develop its "common ground" plan.

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But Planned Parenthood opposes parts of the bill that it says "attempt to influence, rather than inform, a woman's decision whether or not to have an abortion." The most conservative antiabortion groups, meanwhile, see the White House's abortion reduction effort as a politically inspired attempt to co-opt antiabortion voters with "common ground" rhetoric. "There is not a single pro-life policy that Obama has ever supported," says Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. "So there's reason for skepticism."

But huge religious organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention and the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, which also opposes abortion rights, are hopeful. "We're willing to work with anyone who tries to reduce the number of abortions and helps women who choose to bring their babies to term," says Nancy Wisdo, associate general secretary for the bishops' council. "We're taking the White House at its word that this is going to be a serious effort." So are abortion-rights groups. The administration's challenge is to work up a plan that shows both camps it takes them seriously.

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