Until recently, Democratic leaders have largely been allowed to get away with framing the discussion of abortion around vague concepts like “a woman’s right to choose.”
Thanks to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and other politicians who have endorsed abortion on demand through birth and even infanticide — as well as the sagacity of President Trump, who takes every opportunity to call them out — a whole new audience of Americans is realizing what those platitudes really mean.
The first round of the Democratic presidential debates was a true competition among ideologues. When former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke tried to establish his pro-abortion bona fides early, volunteering, “Health care also has to mean that every woman can make her own decisions about her own body,” Julián Castro attempted to outdo him by endorsing abortions for biological men. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., declined to answer whether she supported any limits on abortion.
The second night was comparably more subdued. Former Vice President Joe Biden was not asked to defend his newfound support for forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions. A new poll released by Susan B. Anthony List shows that a majority of voters — including 55 percent of Independents — are less likely to vote for him because of it. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., wasn’t challenged on her recent assertion that pro-life Americans, including some rank-and-file Democrats, are akin to racists. Nor did Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., or other candidates take the opportunity to attack Biden for his flip-flop on the Hyde amendment. That’s because taxpayer-funded abortion is a losing issue for them, too.
If these candidates were running for governor of New York or California (or a different planet), they might all be equally viable — but they’re running to be president of the United States, where even many of their Democrat constituents just aren’t that radical.
Debating each other is a luxury, at least when considering that one of them will eventually face President Trump. Think of the president as a no-nonsense referee who calls foul on all the Democrats’ obfuscation. When he ran against Hillary Clinton, viewers heard a blunt description of late-term abortion for the first time ever in a nationally televised debate. Post-New York and post-Northam, he continues to go on offense to expose his opponents’ extremism.
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The reality is that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to late-term abortion; fewer than one in five think abortion should be allowed through birth. O’Rourke, Warren, and Pete Buttigieg have refused to name any limits on abortion they would support. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who had relatively little to say in the debate, has dodged the question entirely.
The less-familiar candidates are no less extreme. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet voted against compassionate legislation to stop late-term abortions when unborn children can feel pain, Marianne Williamson has vowed to “vigorously resist any effort to restrict, limit, or diminish” abortion at any time for any reason, and Andrew Yang — who wasn’t asked to speak — holds the incorrect and sexist belief that “if men became pregnant instead of women there would be absolutely no restriction” of abortion.
The same SBA List poll found that a majority (55 percent) of voters oppose using federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under Medicaid (40 percent strongly oppose). Biden was the last throwback to the Clinton-era refrain of “safe, legal and rare.” Now every leading candidate is on the record in favor of doing away with the Hyde Amendment, longstanding policy that prevents taxpayer funding of abortion and saves 60,000 lives each year. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., promised, “Medicare for All guarantees every woman in this country the right to have an abortion.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee boasted of forcing all insurers in his state to cover abortion on demand, saying “It should not be an option in the United States of America for any insurance company” to opt out.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans want Congress to ensure that babies born alive in failed abortions receive the same medical care as any other baby, but every sitting U.S. senator running for president — Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren and Cory Booker, D-N.J. — voted to block born-alive legislation earlier this year.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is a dark horse candidate. Some conservatives like her foreign policy positions, but that doesn’t make her a moderate when it comes to abortion. Last year she voted against protections for abortion survivors.
This is the modern Democratic Party. On the nation’s most extreme, unpopular abortion policies, there is no daylight between them. That clarity is a gift to Americans going into the most consequential election yet.
LifeNews Note: Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List