Over on Religion Dispatches, Sarah Posner cornered Jim Wallis on where he actually stands on abortion these days, and here’s what he told her:
“I believe the best response to abortion is not to criminalize what, I
believe, is often a tragic and desperate choice; but rather to find
effective and proven solutions to reduce abortion. This is the common
ground possible between pro-life and pro-choice views.”
This is not a response calculated to make pro-choicers very happy, and Posner isn’t. No question about it, Wallis doesn’t like abortion; he might even (after a few beers) call himself pro-life. But saying that you don’t want to criminalize it means that you think it should not be made illegal, because, duh, when you do something that’s illegal it’s a crime. And if it’s not a crime, then doctors will be allowed to perform abortions and women will be able to, er, choose to have them.
So color Wallis reluctantly pro-choice. As for whether he supports current versions of health reform legislation, is there any evidence that he won’t? Here’s the key sentence in his “Faith Declaration for Health Care Reform”:
While religious people don’t all agree on all the issues of abortion,
we should agree that it must not be allowed to derail the crucial need
for comprehensive health care reform.
I’m saying he’s on board.