Democrats embrace extreme abortion agenda


Throughout the summer, Democratic strategists and their allies in the press were salivating in anticipation of Senate debate season because it would force Republican candidates to talk about the issue of abortion. Well, debate season is almost over, and how many viral video clips of GOP candidates’ debating abortion have you seen rocketing around the Internet? 

Zero? There’s a reason for that: Democrats haven’t won the debate. At the very least, they were fought to a draw on stage in each contest, and on the whole Democrats lost the abortion debate by embracing extremism in battleground state after battleground state.

In Wisconsin’s first Senate debate, Republican incumbent Ron Johnson argued that his Democratic opponent Mandela Barnes backs abortion “right up until the moment of birth,” and Barnes did not dispute the claim. At a press conference the next day, reporters asked Barnes if abortion should be legal when a baby is healthy and capable of surviving outside the womb and the pregnancy poses no risk to the mother’s physical health. “It all goes back to this decision being made between a woman and her doctor. That’s as simple as it gets,” Barnes replied.

The legal dismemberment of premature infants — babies in the womb who are developed enough to be patients in a neonatal intensive-care unit — is morally repugnant to the overwhelming majority of Americans. But it does indeed seem to be a very simple issue for many of Barnes’s fellow Democratic candidates: Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Tim Ryan in Ohio, and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania have openly embraced it.

Fetterman has dodged debates so far because of health problems following a stroke. At Tuesday’s sole Pennsylvania Senate debate, Fetterman’s Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz would be wise to focus on Fetterman’s extremism on a range of issues, from crime to abortion, rather than Fetterman’s health. Voters will judge with their own two eyes Fetterman’s abilities on stage. Oz has a real opportunity to point out, among other matters, that Fetterman would vote to invalidate Pennsylvania’s decades-old Abortion Control Act, under which the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted for killing 21 infants in utero later than 24 weeks into pregnancy.

The extreme position that Fetterman openly embraces is, of course, the position held by every Democratic Senate candidate. Democratic candidates Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Mark Kelly of Arizona, and Val Demings of Florida have each made misleading claims that they support some limit on abortion very late in pregnancy. But in reality, each of them voted for an extreme federal abortion bill that would force all 50 states to allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Democrats’ abortion bill requires states to allow post-viability abortion whenever a single midwife, nurse, or doctor determines the viable pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s mental health. The legislation would also override long-standing religious-liberty and conscience protections for health-care workers, parental-notification laws, and 24-hour waiting periods. Every 2022 Senate Democratic candidate in a competitive race backs unlimited taxpayer funding of elective abortions (at least) for Medicaid recipients.

While Republican Senate candidates have disagreed about whether they should push for a federal 15-week limit or say the issue should be solely decided by the states, most have done a good job highlighting the extremism of Democrats during the debates.

It is worth noting that since South Carolina Republican senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill establishing a 15-week national limit on abortion, predictions that that bill would harm the GOP have been proven incorrect. The Republican position in the RealClearPolitics average of generic-ballot polls has improved from a one-point deficit in mid-September to a three-point lead. Florida senator Marco Rubio and North Carolina Senate candidate Ted Budd, both cosponsors of Graham’s bill, have seen their polling numbers tick upward. The bill seemed to be a clear asset to Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters, who used it to draw a contrast with his Democratic opponent Mark Kelly.

Democrats from Bernie Sanders to James Carville have begun to worry that the party is focusing too much on the issue of abortion. In September, a New York Times/Siena poll found that only 5 percent of voters said abortion was the most important issue. A month later, after tens of millions in Democratic abortion-themed ads had aired, that number remained stuck at exactly 5 percent. In the same poll, 44 percent of likely voters said the economy or inflation was the top issue.

Yet, last Tuesday, President Biden doubled down on abortion extremism when he delivered a speech on the topic at one of the few places where he’s still popular — Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. Biden vowed that if Democrats win enough seats in Congress, the first bill he’d sign would be the Democrats’ federal abortion bill. The mainstream press happily repeated Biden’s misleading claim that the bill would merely “codify Roe.” It is essential that Republicans continue to explain how extreme the Democrats’ abortion agenda really is.

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