The Life Issue, Take 2

The Life Issue, Take 2

The Life Issue, Take 2

How you look at things.
Aug. 19 1999 3:30 AM

The Life Issue, Take 2

A month ago, "Frame Game" pointed out that Steve Forbes had begun to delete the word "abortion" from his comments about abortion, substituting the phrase "the life issue." By talking about "the life issue," Forbes signals to pro-lifers that he's one of them, while concealing from pro-choicers that he's no longer one of them.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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Here's what Forbes said about abortion in his speech at the Iowa straw poll last weekend:

Now, the issue of life is one of the most emotional and heartfelt in America. Like you, I am pro-life and believe in the life amendment. But many in America don't share our goal, but that doesn't mean we put our principles aside. The highest form of statesmanship is to find ways to bring people towards our goal. And I believe that if we move forward with persistence, patience, engaging in a dialogue, we can change the hearts and minds of the American people. And I believe that if we do persist, the time will come--I have faith that the time will come when once again life will be held sacred in our hearts, in our homes, in our Congress, in our courts, and, yes, in our Constitution.

And here's what Forbes said about candidates who fudge their positions:

If a candidate won't tell you where he stands, that means he either doesn't know where he stands or he doesn't want you to know where he stands, and either one is not good for you or the American people.

So, let's try again. Where do you stand on abortion, Mr. Forbes?