The Democratic National Committee’s platform proposal contains language on abortion so radical some rank-and-file Democrats are lashing out at party leadership.
The draft platform promises that Democrats “will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers” and “will continue to oppose — and seek to overturn — federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.”
The Hyde Amendment, a rider annually attached to laws by Congress since 1976, prohibits federal funding of abortion procedures. According to polling, over 65 percent of Americans support the Hyde Amendment.
Carol Crossed, a retired elementary school teacher and committed Democrat, was interviewed by USA Today about the anti-Hyde Amendment language.
“They are pro-choice because they don’t want to be infringing their opinion on others,” she said. “Now their platform says if you don’t like abortions, too bad — you are going to pay for it anyway.”
Even elected Democratic politicians oppose this platform change. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote a letter to the DNC, arguing that the party ought to “place greater emphasis on access to family planning services and support for pregnant and parenting women, in lieu of repealing the Hyde Amendment.”
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), one of Clinton’s potential running mates, told The Weekly Standard that he has typically been a supporter of the Hyde Amendment and that he would have to “check out” the platform proposal.
The draft also promises to strike at laws which make getting an abortion more difficult, such as bans on late-term abortion or health and safety regulations.
In the aftermath of the horrific Kermit Gosnell atrocities, many states have realized that abortion clinics are severely unregulated and often very dangerous for women seeking abortions. In New York, for instance, tanning salons are inspected more frequently by government authorities than abortion clinics. The proposed Democratic platform pledges that Democrats will attack safety regulations implemented since these revelations because they “impede access” to abortion.
The Democratic Party establishment has also signaled that they stridently oppose restricting abortion to the first trimester. Fully 84 percent of Americans — including a majority of pro-choice Americans — disagree strongly with the Democratic platform on this issue.
Senator Joe Machin (D-W.Va.) recently broke with his party’s leadership on abortion issues, accusing them of becoming extremists.
“That’s crazy,” Manchin said of the platform. “It’s something that I know most of the Democrats in West Virginia and most West Virginians would not agree with. I don’t either.”
Of course, it should come as no surprise that rank-and-file Democrats who either adhere to a pro-life or moderate perspective are left in the dust by the progressives running their party.
For those at the cutting edge of pro-abortion arguments, Bill Clinton’s famous exhortation that Democrats ought to work to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare” seems practically pro-life. To the pro-abortion radicals that have disenfranchised dissenting voices in the Democratic Party, abortion must be legal and available on demand, regardless of the cost.
Feminist bloggers, left-wing academics, and even mainstream Democratic politicians have “evolved” their view of abortion rights to be much, much more expansive. As if that did not go far enough, abortion ideologues want to normalize abortion, even making it a subject of comedy.
Even though some Democrats may be shocked at their party’s inexorable, leftward march on abortion, pro-lifers are not surprised at all. If even 60 million deaths could not stop abortion ideologues, how could pro-life Democrats hope to pump the brakes on this insane radicalism?
Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.