The two major political parties’ positions on abortion are growing further and further apart.
Being pro-life or pro-abortion did not used to be as exclusively Republican or Democrat. Legislators on both sides of the aisle identified as pro-life and “pro-choice” on abortion. A few members of Congress still do, but pro-life Democrats and pro-abortion Republicans are becoming scarce in the nation’s capital.
Politico reports only five Republicans in Congress currently are pro-abortion, and three of their seats could change hands in the upcoming election. Pro-abortion Republicans Rep. Bob Dold and Sen. Mark Kirk, both of Illinois, “face uphill races,” and New York Congressman Richard Hanna is retiring, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
In addition to [Hanna], the Republicans who typically support abortion rights are Dold, Kirk and Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Depending on the legislation, they are sometimes joined by others, such as Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, who is likely to be the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
… At the opposite end of the spectrum, few Democrats buck their party to oppose abortion rights. They are: Sens. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia; and Reps. Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Peterson, who are often joined by Henry Cuellar of Texas and sometimes by Jim Langevin of Rhode Island.
Their ranks are unlikely to change next year although two Democrats who oppose abortion rights are running in the crowded Louisiana Senate race.
A big issue for Democrats this year is the Hyde Amendment and taxpayer funding for abortion. Democrats – with a few exceptions – are pushing to force taxpayers to fund abortions, a widely unpopular move among the general public.
According to the report:
The issue could become more potent next year since Democrats are rallying around the repeal of the ban on the federal funding of abortion, known as the Hyde amendment, that has been in place for decades. Republicans, meanwhile, want to defund Planned Parenthood.
A poll conducted for POLITICO by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that majorities of voters want to keep both policies as they currently are: A bipartisan majority support federal funding for Planned Parenthood and do not want their tax dollars used to pay for abortion for women in Medicaid.
The polarization is hardly surprising given the two political parties’ platforms on abortion. This summer, the Democratic Party approved a radical new platform that not only promotes abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy but also calls to force taxpayers to fund abortions. It also specifically supports Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, which aborts approximately 320,000 unborn babies each year. During the last presidential debate, Democratic pick Hillary Clinton made it clear that she stands with her party on its extreme abortion stance, too. She openly admitted that she supports late-term and partial-birth abortions.
In contrast, the Republican Party adopted an even stronger pro-life platform that calls for laws that recognize “that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.” It also calls for defunding Planned Parenthood of the half a billion taxpayer dollars it currently receives each year.