The oddity of this year’s presidential election has many people shaking their heads and wondering what is happening in American politics. Many political commentators are pointing to the erosion of the two main political parties as evidence of a growing shift in American politics. Young voters are increasingly registering as independent, feeling out of place in either major party.
But one thing that keeps attracting supporters to the Republican Party is its commitment to protecting unborn babies from abortion. In a new column for the Washington Post, Fordham University professor Charles Camosy argued that the Democratic Party could win back voters if it breaks ties with the abortion industry and welcomes pro-life leaders to fight for the unborn.
In recent years, the Democratic Party has sold out to the abortion industry’s demand for allegiance to abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy, Camosy wrote. He continued:
Special interests like NARAL and Planned Parenthood demand absolute loyalty to their abortion-rights orthodoxy, that there ought to be no limits on a woman’s right to choose. Democratic legislators can’t even think about voting even for a modest 20-week limit. To put the extremity of this position into perspective, most of Europe has a legal threshold of 12 to 13 weeks and 73 percent of Americans oppose abortion after 12 weeks.
In 2012, the party solidified its partnership with the abortion industry by adopting a platform opposing “any effort” to limit abortions. This extreme position stands in opposition to even many Democratic voters’ views on the abortion issue. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 80 percent of Americans said abortion should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy, while 64 percent said it should be illegal in the second trimester as well. Contrary to what their constituents want, many Democrats today are putting up a strong fight against a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
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The abortion issue was not always a clear-cut dividing line between the two parties, Camosy wrote. Just eight years ago, Hillary Clinton’s tone on abortion was much less extreme, and some Democrats in the party ran with a pro-life position.
In her 2008 run for the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton insisted abortion should be rare. “And by rare, I mean rare,” she said, a nod to the classic Clintonian formulation of “safe, legal and rare.” Yet Clinton now seldom emphasizes the goal of rarity, perhaps due to the decidedly antiabortion connotations of that aim. She has even shifted her position on the Hyde Amendment, and now says antiabortion citizens should pay for publicly-funded abortion on demand with their tax dollars. Even her support for a term-limit ban with exceptions for the “health of the mother” seems primed to bait pro-lifers with a false sense of compromise: After all, every pregnancy affects a mother’s health, and thus every pregnancy could still qualify for late-term abortion under Clinton’s careful wording.
If Democrats break the stranglehold of this orthodoxy and re-welcome antiabortion Democrats back into the party, they stand a much better chance of addressing their very serious electoral problems and avoiding the kind of disintegration facing the GOP. Democratic leadership should look to their 2006 victories, in which the party picked up a significant number of seats by running anti-abortion candidates in purple districts. … These pro-life Democrats, though crucial for passing important programs like Obamacare, are mostly gone now, victims of a litmus test. In 2009, 64 House Democrats voted against taxpayer funding for abortion; by 2015, only three did: In that time, Democrats lost 69 seats, leaving only 188 Dems to the 247 Republican majority.
Camosy pointed to young voters in particular as the ones most likely to join the party if it changed its radical pro-abortion position. A 2010 poll by the extremist pro-abortion group NARAL found that young pro-life voters (51 percent) are much more likely to consider abortion a “very important” voting issue than young pro-choice voters (26 percent).
“The fact that such a high percentage of young pro-lifers consider abortion a top priority suggests that, should Democrats shift their stalwart pro-choice stance, the next generation of anti-abortion voters may well lend them much-needed support,” Camosy wrote.
Democrats claim to be the party that fights for the rights of the most vulnerable. If they truly believe that, they should listen to Camosy’s advice and drop their ties to the abortion industry. The most defenseless, targeted and discriminated against people in America today – the unborn – need their help, and voters are sick and tired of the party playing politics with their lives.