ABC News' Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace Report: Before the Democrats convene in Denver, the Rev. Jim Wallis plans to urge Barack Obama to go along with adding an “abortion reduction” plank to the party platform.
“Abortion reduction should be a central Democratic Party plank in this election,” Wallis told ABC News. “I’ll just say that flat out.”
Wallis, who hosted a Democratic candidates’ forum on CNN last year, discussed his plans after defending Obama against Dr. James Dobson’s charge that the Illinois Democrat distorted the traditional understanding of the Bible when he spoke to Wallis’s Sojourners group in 2006.
Beyond his plans to make a personal plea to Obama, Wallis said that he pitched the idea last week to DNC Chairman Howard Dean. The Rev. Tony Campolo, who sits on the party’s platform committee, also supports the plank and plans to push it, according to Wallis.
“This is going to be a big Denver conversation,” said Wallis. “You don’t have to call for criminalizing anyone. You don’t have to take a different stance about a woman’s right to choose. But you begin with the need for reducing abortion dramatically.”
The abortion reduction plank that Wallis envisions would call for making adoption easier, supporting low-income women, and stepping up pregnancy prevention efforts.
Without calling for restrictions such as parental consent laws, Wallis believes that if the Democrats were to alter their abortion platform, it could help them make inroads among young evangelicals and Catholics.
“Taking abortion seriously as a moral issue would help Democrats a great deal with a constituency that is already leaning in their direction on poverty and the environment,” said Wallis. “There are literally millions of votes at stake.”
Asked for Obama's postion on the proposed "abortion reduction" plank, a campaign spokesperson offered no immediate comment.