Judging by the 2020 debates, the Democratic Party is all-in on abortion. And not just any abortion — but taxpayer-funded, expanded, and exported killing right past the moment of birth. On stage, they’re the picture of lock-step radicalism. But behind the curtain, the New York Times warns, there’s a lot more disagreement than anyone’s letting on.
There’s the extremist wing of the party — the national Democrats, full of bravado and cheerleading and “shout your abortion” from the rooftops. But they’re only part of the story. The other, the Times points out, is a deeply conflicted base who has serious misgivings about gambling another election on a hard-core abortion strategy. For the first time in years, liberals are on the defensive about abortion — and at odds with how to handle it.
“It’s really, really complicated,” Rutgers professor Joanna Schoen said, “and somewhat controversial where the pro-choice movement lost.” But the basic consensus is this, the Times argues: “The Democratic Party rejected the message that drove its politics since President Bill Clinton’s administration — that abortion should be ‘safe, legal and rare’ — and embraced abortion rights with few stipulations.” There’s just one problem. The majority of Americans — including their own grassroots — disagree. “Pro-choice” Democrats think abortion should be legal, sure. But only in certain cases. Like most Americans, they certainly don’t side with the field of 2020 abortion zealots, who — with one exception — thinks infanticide is a “reproductive right.” The eight percent who do must either be in Congress or running for president.
Meanwhile, inside the abortion movement, there’s at least some recognition of the overreach. Some supporters told the Times that they “worry that establishing abortion rights as a Democratic litmus test is too inflexible for Americans conflicted over abortion. They fear that it could hurt the party in rural areas and the more moderate, suburban districts that may hold the key to regaining the White House, and where many of the remaining vulnerable abortion clinics are.” Considering the Iowa district where Democrat J.D. Scholten is running, they’re right. About 60 percent of the voters there consider themselves “pro-life.” “Where I’m from, we have a pretty big tent,” he said. “We can’t be writing off people.”
None of those messages seem to be getting through to national headquarters, where Democrats are doubling down on radical abortion “to shore up a progressive base, boxing in moderate candidates in red states, and leaving little room for [the views of average Americans].” But then, misreading the political landscape is nothing new for the Left. When the abortion rate dropped to its lowest level since Roe v. Wade, researchers at the liberal Guttmacher Institute insisted it had nothing to do with the recent wave of pro-life legislation.
That’s an interesting conclusion, since 40 percent of the country’s pro-life laws were passed in the last 10 years. In every state but New York, CNSNews’s Terry Jeffrey found, abortions dropped an average 24 percent over the same decade. The reality is simple: “Pro-lifers are winning the argument in the culture,” he insisted on “Washington Watch.” “The democratic candidates are not.”
“Another tell-tale sign,” Terry argues, “is what happened in the 2016 presidential elections.” Why did Trump win Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin? Because a lot of voters in those areas, regardless of party, are socially conservative. “They like where Donald Trump was on immigration. They like his foreign policy. They like his views on trade. But they were pro-life… Now, a smart Democratic strategist looking at that would know that if the Democrats nominate a knee-jerk, ideological, 100-percent pro-abortion candidate to run against Trump in 2020, they’re going to have a hard time winning those swing states… Politically, the pro-abortion position is a disaster for Democrats.” And morally? Well, it’s a disaster for everyone. Forty-five years and 60 million lives should have taught us all that.