Liberal Children’s Defense Fund Has No Position on Freedom of Choice Act, Edelman Says

By Nicholas Ballasy | November 25, 2008 | 2:31 PM EST

( - The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a liberal child advocacy group headed by Marian Wright Edelman, does not take a position on the Freedom of Choice Act, Edelman told on Monday. 
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is proposed federal legislation that would remove nearly all restrictions on abortion, and President-elect Barack Obama has said that one of his first steps as president will be to sign FOCA into law.

“The Children’s Defense Fund has never taken a position for or against abortion,” said Edelman. “We don’t think we’ve got anything to add to that debate. We’re concerned with the children who are here – and I want both pro-choice and pro-life people to make sure that every child that comes here can have a safe and decent and safe life, and I stay functioning on that line. So I don’t have a position on that.”
Edelman was honored Monday at the National Press Club by U.S. News and World Report as one of "America's Best Leaders" in 2008 for her work with the Children’s Defense Fund. According to its Web site, the CDF is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has “worked relentlessly for 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.”

The Freedom of Choice Act would abolish all federal, state, and local restrictions and limitations on abortion prior to “fetal viability.” In the Senate, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and co-sponsored by Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) among others.
Hillary Clinton used to work for the CDF and served on its board of directors. Edelman’s husband, Peter Edelman, was an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.
When asked if there is a way to create a medium between pro-abortion people and pro-lifers, Edelman said that “investing in children” is the common ground between the two.

“Hope is the best contraceptive,” said Edelman. “Opportunity is the best contraceptive, and you need to give young people a sense of a future, a vision that’s worth having and not trying to jeopardize.
“So let’s shut up about all the things that divide us, and let’s grab our children – make sure they don’t have a second baby, make sure they have the parent support, make sure they go back to school, make sure they deal with that child in a thoughtful way so that they can break the cycle. But we need to give opportunity and help. We need to talk to boys as well as the girls.”