Women's rights: Can the campaigns find common ground?

Reproductive rights activists
A woman participates in a protest outside of the Hyatt Regency where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was scheduled to attend a fundraiser on March 22, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Following the comments from Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. on abortion and the consequent debate, The Daily Circuit looked at the extremism in the conversation over women's rights Tuesday. How can we depolarize this issue and find some common ground?

Molly Ball, a staff writer covering national politics at The Atlantic, joined the discussion during our live show from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Janet Robert, president of Democrats for Life of America, and Frances Kissling, visiting scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, also joined the discussion.


Emily Christie: "When people believe in something, faith, philosophy, whatever, it's hard to get un-entrenched. Both sides are dug in deep, and both sides feel that to give an inch is to lose the war. I hate to use that word, but it has been that mentality for as long as I can remember. I don't see a softening on either side, even if a majority in the middle tend to lean in one direction."

Jorg Lueke: "When does that life begin? That's the crux at what point does a fetus become a human with rights? Few would argue for abortions at 8.5 months and few would argue against contraception but it's not so simple if you really believe babies are being murdered to just accept that."

Katherine Harris: "Let's get back to the idea of abortion being safe, legal and rare. If kids have better access to better sex education, there would be fewer abortions and fewer babies born to teenagers. If women have access to more family planning services, there would be fewer abortions."

Charlie Seto: "It's nice and all to hold hands and agree that preventing unwanted pregnancy is good, but even then we disagree on the approaches. One side opts for abstinence, and that's well and good. The other includes contraception and birth control, and that can be a point of disagreement. And then there's abortion of varying degrees, the elephant in the room."

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