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December 22, 2004

Harry Reid: Pro-life?

The press is almost universally portraying incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as "pro-life". What they mean, apparently, is that Reid usually fails to get the coveted 100% approval rating from NARAL -- because he certainly doesn't fit the media's stereotype of the typical pro-lifer.

Nor would the typical pro-life person recognize him as one of their own.

Fred Barnes suggests in The Weekly Standard a three-part test that might be used to determine an individual's commitment to the pro-life cause:
First, does the person speak out publicly against abortion or for related pro-life causes? Second, does the person participate vigorously in efforts to protect the unborn or, if a legislator, at least vote to do so? Third, do pro-life forces see the person as an ally or do pro-abortion lobbyists look kindly on the person? To be a pro-lifer a person wouldn't necessarily have to pass all three parts, but two out of three would seem to be the minimum required to be considered an authentic pro-lifer.
Barnes goes on to examine how Reid measures up to these criteria.

Helpful hint: When the media labels someone as pro-life without using quotes around the term, they are usually referring to someone like Reid who is "personally against abortion", but who rarely if ever takes any steps that would actually lead to a reduction in the number of abortions that occur.

So, what do you think: Is Barnes' test a good one? Or, are pro-life activists giving Reid a bum rap?

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