Politico: ‘Sanders Bows To Establishment,’ Abortion Issue Pits Democrats and Liberal Groups Against Each Other

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats and liberal groups are fighting among themselves over who is most pro-abortion and would deliver the greatest access to abortion to low-income women.

Most recently, Politico reported Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had “bowed to the establishment” when he walked back his statement that Planned Parenthood was an “establishment” organization propping up an establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton.

According to Politico:

Three days after getting himself in hot water with several key liberal constituencies by dismissing Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Human Rights Campaign as “part of the establishment,” Sanders gave ground on the point, releasing a statement highlighting the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and singing the praises of “Planned Parenthood, NARAL and all Americans who have been fighting the never-ending attacks on women’s right to choose.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) also rebuked Sanders Friday for naming Planned Parenthood as part of the “establishment.”

“I totally disagree with Sen. Sanders on that,” Murray told a news conference at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Seattle to celebrate the forty-third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. “They are not establishment. They are everyday average people.”

Murray further described Planned Parenthood and its allies as “amazing groups,” reports Seattle PI.

Asked whether the Senate will pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – a measure that would ban abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy, Murray responded, “Not on my watch. A number of these bills have passed in the House. We have been able to stop them in the Senate.”

The infighting began when Democrat 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton received an endorsement from Planned Parenthood and then doubled down by demanding an end to the Hyde Amendment – which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion on demand – as well as an increase in taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, which is currently under congressional investigation for potentially criminal activity.

The abortion business has been exposed in a series of videos for its apparent practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies on the open market and altering the position of babies during abortions in order to harvest the most intact organs.

Though Planned Parenthood claims the videos were “deceptively edited,” even the study of the videos commissioned by Planned Parenthood itself “did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation” and “no evidence of audio manipulation.” Nevertheless, the organization is suing the Center for Medical Progress, which produced the videos.

When Sanders responded with a statement that Planned Parenthood – and the LGBT rights organization Human Rights Campaign, which also endorsed Clinton – are simply “establishment” organizations, he was sharply criticized by Clinton, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign and other liberal groups. Sanders is now calling for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment and touting his 100 percent pro-abortion rating in the Senate.

“Women must have full control over their reproductive health in order to have full control over their lives,” he said in a statement. “We must rescind the Hyde Amendment and resist attempts by states to erect roadblocks to abortion.”

Additionally, Sanders said he would expand funding for Planned Parenthood, reports CNN.

However, that may not be enough for the abortion industry. According to MSNBC, while Sanders has voted against the Hyde amendment in both the Senate and the House, his statement reiterating his commitment to repealing it comes after a week in which he was criticized by abortion industry groups for not including abortion in his single-payer health care plan he released last weekend.

“We can assume women’s health services are intended to be covered, based on his past record,” wrote Illyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro Choice America, which has also endorsed Clinton. “But in a political landscape this hostile to reproductive rights, words matter – as do their absence. If he won’t say the words now, how can we trust that he will hold the line?”

Similarly, EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion organization that has been among the main organizers of Clinton’s presidential campaigns, said, for Sanders, abortion was an “afterthought.”

The infighting among Democrats over abortion has also extended to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was sharply rebuked earlier this month by NARAL over her statement during an interview that she was not supportive of “abortion on demand.”

“Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments on abortion were disappointing and ill-advised,” said NARAL senior vice president Sasha Bruce, adding:

At a time when our rights are under daily attack in the halls of Congress, on the campaign trail, in statehouses and in the courts, now more than ever, we need our champions to speak with a clear and strong voice in support of our legal right to abortion. Unfortunately, Leader Pelosi’s recent comments fall well short of this standard.

Earlier in the month, Democratic National Committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz complained in an interview with the New York Times Magazine that young women had grown too complacent about the right to an abortion, suggesting she believed that support for abortion by young women today is not what it had been in prior years.

“I really see the center not holding in the abortion rights movement right now, and I’m talking about Hillary’s comments lately, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s comments, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s comments lately, that produce all sorts of infighting among that movement,” pro-life Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told Breitbart News at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll released last week found a full 81 percent of Americans favor some restrictions on abortion – including limiting the procedure after the first three months – and a continued ban on public funding of abortion.

In the survey of 1,700 Americans, even 66 percent of respondents who identify themselves as pro-choice say “abortion should be allowed, at most, in the first trimester, in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, or never permitted.”

The annual March for Life – held on Friday – saw pro-life activists demonstrating that being pro-life is being pro-woman since abortion, they profess, is the “ultimate exploitation of women.”


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