The Democratic Party is facing more push-back this week because its newly proposed party platform calls for all-out taxpayer funding of abortion.
The proposed Democratic Party platform this year is more extreme than it has ever been, calling for taxpayer funding of abortion and a repeal of the Hyde Amendment. The Democratic Party platform already supports legalized abortion on demand for any reason up until birth.
The Hyde Amendment prohibits direct taxpayer funding of most abortions and has done so since the late 1970s. Upheld by the Supreme Court, the Hyde Amendment is now a target of abortion advocates who have moved from pro-choice to pro-abortion — forcing Americans not only to accept unlimited abortions up to birth but also to pay for them.
The radical new Democratic Party language is causing some to rethink their allegiance to the party. Democrats for Life told USA Today that it is hearing from a number of Democrats who say they cannot vote for Hillary Clinton because of the new pro-abortion position. In January, Clinton promised Planned Parenthood that she will make every effort to overturn Hyde and force taxpayers to fund abortions, if elected.
“This platform’s language just says (to abortion opponents) you are no longer welcome,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life. “This has been the general message pro-life Democrats are receiving across the country.”
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Carol Crossed is one of them. The retired educator from Rochester, New York, told USA Today that she believes the abortion giant Planned Parenthood is throwing its weight around with the party and Clinton.
“She’s totally showed her cards to be bought by an industry that is actually named in the platform,” Crossed said.
The Democratic Party is “pro-choice because they don’t want to be infringing their opinion on others,” she continued. “Now their platform says if you don’t like abortions, too bad — you are going to pay for it anyway.
Some Democratic legislators also are pushing back against the radical new proposal. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, called the language “crazy”; and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to the party platform committee criticizing the new position.
Even the editorial board of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which supports legalized abortion, called out the Democratic Party for its “extremism on abortion.” In a Sunday editorial, they wrote:
In short, it’s not enough to support the legality of abortion. You actually have to like it.
This insistence on seeing abortion not just as a necessity and a right but a positive good shows up in the party’s platform, too. In 2000, the Democratic platform said the party “stands behind the right of every woman to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of ability to pay.” But it also added that “our goal is to make abortion less necessary and more rare” — a statement that lent necessary nuance to a morally ambiguous issue.
By 2012, all nuance and ambiguity were gone. “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy,” the platform said. The only reference to the frequency of abortion was an acknowledgment “that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.” But there was no suggestion that abortion should be, as Bill Clinton used to say, “safe, legal and rare.”
The party’s newly proposed stance on taxpayer funding of abortion could hurt them this election, because it is so radical and out of touch with most Americans.
Through the years, polls have consistently found that most Americans do not support taxpayer funding of abortions or late-term abortions. A new Marist poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including a majority of women and a majority of people who identify as pro-choice.