WaPo: Democrats Coalesce as Party of Abortion at Their Own Peril

A pro-life, anti-abortion and pro-family activist displays a rubber foetus during a "March for Family" within the World Congress of Families (WCF) conference on March 31, 2019 in Verona. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

The Democrat party has consolidated its identity as the party of abortion but in so doing has lost touch with the American people, declares a new op-ed in the Washington Post.

Most Democratic candidates “have erased from their rhetoric any hint that abortion might be a subject on which reasonable people can disagree, and they’ve altered their policy proposals to match — endorsing the repeal of all restrictions on paying for abortions with federal money, for example,” writes Alexandra DeSanctis.

“These moves might excite the party’s progressive base, but they put candidates out of step with the average American and even with many of their own voters,” she adds.

The radicalization of the Democrat Party has meant that even its former mantra that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare” has become “taboo,” DeSanctis writes, epitomized by the furor caused by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) when she dared utter this expression in the most recent presidential primary debate.

The Democrat Party expunged the word “rare” from its official platform in 2012, DeSanctis notes, replacing it with a call for “safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

Apart from isolated exceptions, “the current slate of Democratic presidential candidates essentially opposes any form of abortion regulation and rejects the Hyde Amendment, which has been added to spending bills since 1976 to prohibit federal health-care programs from directly funding abortion procedures,” she adds.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Monday that an association of Democratic state attorneys general is now imposing an “explicit abortion litmus test” on its candidates, saying it will refuse to endorse anyone who does not support reproductive rights and expanding access to abortion services.

Candidates will have to make a public statement declaring their support of abortion rights if they wish to receive financial and strategic backing from the group, the Times reports.

According to DeSanctis, this extremism is not only ethically suspect, it could also be politically fatal.

It makes “little sense for Democrats to move so far left on this issue that they leave behind general-election Democratic voters — never mind independents and wavering Republicans,” she observes, especially since recent polls suggest that nearly 30 percent of Democrats describe themselves as pro-life and only 18 percent support abortion rights in the third trimester.

Pushing the Democrat Party in this extreme direction “is a political mistake that ignores the views of Democrats who do not share the all-or-nothing abortion attitudes of many primary voters,” she states. “It also prevents Democratic candidates from picking off some independents and even Republicans who are itching to vote for anyone but President Trump but who simply will not abide a candidate who supports abortion on demand, in all three trimesters.”

“Most consequentially, of course, the leftward shift on abortion commits one of our two major political parties ever more completely to the wrongheaded and unethical position of denying the humanity and right to life of the unborn,” she concludes.

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