Can The Obama Administration be an honest broker when it comes to the issue of reducing abortions? They’ll need to convince some skeptical Evangelical groups who think President Obama’s track record is suspect. I brought this up to Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Council Director. Watch her answer above. The transcription is below:
Brody: “They’ll (pro-life groups) look at embryonic stem cell research, they’ll look at Mexico City policy being rescinded, they’ll look at the abortion conscious clause and they’ll see in their mind a track record from a pro-choice President but a track record that makes them skeptical that he would be able to come to the table as an honest broker in this.
Barnes: Well, I think first of all they would have to understand and he said it repeatedly that he does respect the varying views on these issues and he recognizes that people of good will do have different views but at the same time one that he is willing to say I want to engage people. I want to bring people into the White House to have this conversation and one of the first things that he did when coming into office was to set up his office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and have a council that supports and works with that office of people who have views across the ideological spectrum; people from varying denominations, people again from varying policy perspectives and have those people come together and deal with issues like reducing unintended pregnancies, like dealing with issues of fatherhood and healthy families. I think that sends a strong signal that he is committed to working with and talking to people who may have views different from his own and again looking for those areas of common ground."