Abortion Politics

Trautman grotto.jpgLest you think abortion has disappeared as an issue this campaign season, Hillary Clinton's visit to Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., has drawn a protest from the local Catholic bishop, Donald W. Trautman, who criticized the college for not "reflecting the pro-life stance of the Catholic Church." In line with the widespread position of the church hierarchy that pro-choice politicians not be invited to speak at Catholic educational institutions, Trautman said he would as a result not attend the Mercyhurst's graduation ceremonies this year. (The colleget, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926, proclaims its "Catholic identity" in is its mission statement.)
Meanwhile, in his Washington Post column today, Michael Gerson assails Barack Obama for "abortion extremism" for criticizing last year's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of bans on "partial-birth abortion" as well as opposing legislation to protect the lives of fetuses that survive abortion procedures. No doubt, abortion will remain a bright line between the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns this year. The question is: How much will it matter to the voters?