From Newsweek: A Fight for the GOP’s 'Heart and Soul'.
Depending on whom you ask, Republicans who identify themselves as pro-choice are either the future of the GOP or marginalized dreamers whose vision has emerged stillborn. Three of the party’s rising stars -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- are all outspoken advocates of a woman’s right to choose. And the introduction to the party’s new platform, which was ratified on Monday, includes a note of tolerance: it calls on Republicans to "accept and respect" each other's divergent views on social issues.
But opposition to abortion remains a firm tenet of the Republican ideology and the platform itself, and throughout his administration, President Bush has crusaded to limit abortion rights and extend legal protection for the unborn.
The GOP’s largest pro-choice advocacy group, the Republican Majority for Choice (RMC), was a chief proponent of the new language in the platform preamble and regards the change as a small step in the right direction. Far from viewing itself as a renegade faction, the RMC touts a recent American Viewpoint poll that found that 73 percent of Republicans claim to be pro-choice. The organization says it is an outspoken minority that has overwhelmed those voices and established the party’s agenda.
This week, GOP stalwarts Libby Pataki, wife of the New York governor; Bloomberg and former Bush administration official Christie Todd Whitman hosted what they said was the largest-ever gathering of pro-choice Republicans, raising $1 million for their cause. RMC executive director Kellie Rose Ferguson took time out from the back-slapping and exhortation to speak with NEWSWEEK’s Karen Fragala.
Robert Tracinki commented in TIA Daily:
["Pro-choice" Republicans] have a bigger fight ahead of them than they realize -- since religion has been entrenched for decades now as the moral and philosophical base of conservatism.
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