Tulsi Gabbard’s statement supporting banning third trimester abortions and adhering to “safe, legal and rare” makes her the only Democrat running for President to announce any position restricting abortion. Her ability to develop these statements into a momentum depends entirely on if she can articulate a straight-forward policy and persuade voters of her authenticity.
Positioning herself against late-term abortions is not an isolating position. According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll;
“In all, 61% said they were in favor of a combination of limitations that included allowing abortion in just the first three months of a pregnancy.”
Forty-three States ban abortion in the Third Trimester. Only Five Countries worldwide allow third trimester abortions. Most social democracies including France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden prohibit abortion much earlier. The American Convention on Human Rights, ratified by Latin America prohibits abortion altogether. Having politically isolated themselves from both the American people and the entire world, Democrats are now facing a President more then willing to Tweet about it during the 2020 elections. Gabbard’s public break with other Democrat candidates provides her a rare opportunity to claim the spotlight by seizing control of the issue, shaping the national narrative and world perception.
Bill Clinton may have been the first to summarize “safe, legal and rare” but he didn’t invent it. The middle-ground was first articulated by Jeane Kirkpatrick in 1985 stating :
“My position on abortion is very much the traditional Protestant position,” she said. “Basically, I believe abortion is always tragic, always to be avoided. But it is not invariably the worst possible evil in every situation. I would not call myself pro-choice, however, because pro-choice is the term associated today with readily available abortion and casual abortion counseling — which is really almost the use of abortion as a form of contraception and family planning. I think that is abominable and appalling on all grounds.”
Condileeza Rice articulated Gabbard’s position on abortion a decade ago to The Washington Post:
In a 2008 interview, Rice said: “I myself am someone who believes strongly in parental notification. … I’m against late-term abortion, which is, I think, really very cruel.”
She slyly defended Roe v. Wade in that interview, saying: “I have not wanted to see the law changed because it’s an area that I worry about the government being involved in.”
And Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady herself articulated a middle of the road point of view:
“The abortion law is only related to the early months and I voted for abortion under controlled conditions.
“I’m perfectly prepared to have the Act amended along the lines of the Select Committee recommendations because I think that it’s operating in a slightly more lax way than was intended, but I’m not prepared to abolish it completely.
“Abortion only applies to the very, very early days, but the idea that it should be used as a method of birth control I find totally abhorrent.”
Condemning abortion at any stage will make Gabbard an enemy of the National Women’s Political Caucus. It will also set her apart from the current Democrat field which have alienated the American Public. Elizabeth Warren advocates codifying abortion rights into Federal Law. Bernie Sanders advocates the right to abortion until birth. And no matter how he tries to twist his answer, Robert Francis O’ Rourke aka transracial candidate “Beto” can never change the fact that he told a voter, to his face in a public forum no less, he didn’t have the right to live one day before his birth and objectified the voter’s mom referring to her, as abortion fanatics always do, as “the woman,” who has a right to decide if he lived or died.
During her interview, Gabbard made four assertions. First that abortion was inconsistent with her personal values, second she was a Libertarian on the issue, third she agreed with Hillary Clinton and fourth the cutoff should be the third-trimester.
Gabbard is Hindu and identifies as a Karma Yogi and has also gone on record that her evolution from a Pro-Life to a Pro-Choice stance was the product of her time in Middle-East war zones and but she herself would never resort to abortion. She is also Vegan. While understandable, Gabbard’s attitude is also problematic. Nobody expects a mother to carry a baby to term in the middle of a war zone. In the America on the other hand is another matter. To adopt a Pro-Choice stance in the United States, is to legitimize Jungle situation reactions in a civilized society. Spiritual Midwife Jeanine Parvati Baker, the mother of PreNatal Yoga, termed this “Confused Yoga” during the 1980s, pointing out :
“. . .dying is a natural process, killing other humans is not part of a natural or spiritual path. Or at least killing doesn’t have to be. I am aware that plenty of killing takes place in nature. Yet if we want to arise from the jungle consciousness (and survival of the fittest myth of social Darwinism) and bring “heaven” here to Earth, as is our New Age potential, we need to set an example to the other animals/organisms on our shared planet. How ironic it is that some yoginis will forego the eating of meat out of compassion for animals, yet this same sensitive compassion is not extended to unwanted babies.”
Gabbard’s use of Libertarianism to separate her personal and political values is also problematic due to Gabbard’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment. In War and executions, taxpayers are only forced to pay for them after public debate, due process of law and only with compelling cause. Abortion is legalized as a “private matter” and is a an arbitrary decision with the only regulation being the ability or inability to pay. While not all Americans are Vegans, United States law prohibits Animal Cruelty, Murdering Domestic Animals and Animal Abuse. Even humans that kill animals for meat, recognize and do not consider Animal cruelty and murder to be a “private matter” or lifestyle choice. Michael Vick, spent Twenty-one months in a Federal Prison for his “choice” of abusing, torturing and murdering dogs. How much more deserving of Federal Protection are human babies in what should be the safest place of all, their mother’s womb? Authentic Libertarianism would pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act barring public funds and allowing medical professionals the right to choose whether or not to participate. It would support Trump’s Protect Life Title X rule that allows low-income Americans access to reproductive services without patronizing an abortion clinic. Gabbard voted against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and has yet to issue a statement affirming the Protect Life Rule.
Gabbard’s commitment to restricting third term abortions remains to be seen. Gabbard has not signed the discharge position for the Born Alive Act or co-sponsored any legislation to this effect. Gabbard’s agreement with Hillary Clinton appears to repeat both her talking points as well as her strategic failures. Despite also advocating a late term ban, Clinton took no action to rally Congress or write it into the Democrats 2016 platform. This miscalculation handed Donald Trump a major media victory, allowing one of his most memorable punches:
“With what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” Trump said. “Now you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not ok”
Looking back voters can only imagine how dramatically different the 2016 Election could have gone had Hillary Clinton rallied her party in Congress and generated “HILLARY TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS FOR LATE TERM ABORTION BAN” “HILLARY SAYS NO TAX FUNDED ABORTIONS EVER” “HILLARY URGES CONGRESS TO BAN SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTIONS AND END BABY GIRL GENDERCIDE” “DEMOCRATS PASS COMPREHENSIVE PROHIBITION ON THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTIONS WITH BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT.”
As a sitting member of Congress, Gabbard has the power to cross Nancy Pelosi’s failed electoral lines and demonstrate her own ability to govern and craft bi-partisan legislation. A Comprehensive Third Trimester Abortion Ban would dramatically change the Democrat Party’s media narrative while pressuring the rest of the Democrat field. It would allow Gabbard to steal Donald Trump’s thunder by taking an action that Republican Congress for two years proved unable or unwilling to do. Were Gabbard to exercise imagination in crafting legislation, she could capture the issue entirely by including provisions forcing Maternal Care Providers to disclose medical fees to the public, legalize buying insurance across state lines (another Trump promise un-fulfilled), legalize midwifery, allow for bankruptcy on maternity medical bills and add additional millions in tax-dollars for the Federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund.
Gabbard could further challenge the American Publics perception and her own polls by sponsoring the PreNatal Non-Discrimination Act;
““§ 250. Discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex
“(a) In General.—Whoever knowingly—
“(1) performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex or gender of the child;
“(2) uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion;
“(3) solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion; or
“(4) transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion,
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”
The United Nations Population Fund has estimated 126 million women are missing from the world. It’s shameful enough House Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi have blocked passage of this act. The fact that five women announced campaigns for President yet not a single one has yet to publicly demanded an end to this genocide is a public disgrace deserving of a Trump Tweet. At the very least she could sign the discharge petition for the Born Alive Act (yet another unfulfilled 2016 Republican promise).
Gabbard has all the right qualities. She is young, beautiful and has a great smile in an era when image matters more then substance. Of substance she has more than plenty, being the only woman to have served in a war zone to run for President and having participated in the Dakota Access pipeline protests against threats to tribal lands. Gabbard represents one of the states most vulnerable to the consequences of international politics in the Pacific. But none of this will matter unless Gabbard can change the media narrative that was given credibility when Governor Andrew Cuomo, selfishly and stupidly, legalized third trimester abortions in New York State and lit up the Trade Towers to celebrate. Pro-Life Voters voted for Trump because he promised take action. Trump’s policies and court appointments give us something to protect in the 2020 elections. Democrats that claim to oppose later term abortions should act like it. Gabbard’s entire political currency is being tested on whether or not she has the will to backup her statements and the capability to govern on the issue from the public office she currently occupies.