In June 2009 the Ted Turner funded pro-abortion website RH Reality Check launched “On Common Ground,” an attempt to bridge the abortion divide.
Its impetus, penned by then editor Scott Swenson, speaks of a naive time that seems so long ago and far away, although it was only last year:
In so many ways, the election of President Obama is viewed through a lens of its healing potential….
President Obama is asking Americans to seek common ground on one of the most controversial issues of our time, abortion….
Is it possible that in President Obama’s election, Americans have a chance to heal the body politic from the divisiveness the abortion issue has caused for a generation or more?…
We believe RH Reality Check is well positioned to expand this dialog to be more inclusive while holding to our progressive roots and respecting those who believe differently but genuinely seek common ground….
It turned out that for all of Obama’s schtick, he actually had a radical pro-abort agenda planned, which pro-lifers anticipated, which has only turned those in the middle off and our way, which pro-lifers didn’t necessarily anticipate.
Add to that the “groundswell” of pro-life laws being passed on the state level, and the pro-abort call for “common ground” is almost laughable in retrospect.
It was all a PR ploy anyway, to appear reasonable while advancing the pro-abort agenda. RH Reality Check invited pro-life and pro-abortion thinkers to explore areas where they thought the 2 sides could work together.
But of 15 contributors, only 2 had pro-life credentials – Kristen Day of Democrats for Life and Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life (who each only submitted 1 post over the course of 9 months, here and here).
I don’t fault well-intentioned people for seeking common ground on a multitude of issues.
The problem with abortion and all its tentacles is the divide is ideological, and so, as Obama admitted in his Notre Dame speech, the divide is “irreconcilable.” This, it seems to me, makes “common ground” impossible.
So, no real surprise, Rh Reality Check aborted the “On Common Ground” project in March, 9 months after its inception, coincidentally.
The problem with a pro-abort site attempting to moderate what “common ground” connotates was apparent in moderator Christina Page’s farewell:
[W]e heard from many pro-lifers in favor of contraception and willing to break with the right wing anti-abortion, anti-contraception establishment in favor of a sensible approach to prevention….
[M]any pro-lifers in this forum questioned the Republican grip on the pro-life establishment and it’s opposition to progressive policies, like universal health insurance….
It’ pretty bad when the pro-abort moderator of a “common ground” site can’t even recognize her own inflammatory verbiage. And when the only “common ground” concepts allowed are those pro-aborts condone but 90% of pro-lifers oppose – more money to Planned Parenthood to push the failed contraception mentality, for instance, or Obamacare, it’s no wonder the attempt failed.
But we shall see. Page announced a new site, CommonGroundwork.com, to be co-moderated by a to-be-named pro-lifer, would “go live this Spring, a fitting time for its rebirth.” I just checked, and the site is not yet live, although summer doesn’t commence for another 2 weeks. It will be interesting, if and when it does, to see who the pro-lifer is.