Democrats On Abortion

The editorial pages of the WSJ report:

…it seems as if the Democrats have accomplished the impossible: They have moved to the left on abortion.

On the party’s platform, the Democrats dropped the words “safe, legal and rare,” the phrase used most famously by both Bill and Hillary Clinton to signal moderation on the issue. The Democrats also added the modifier “unequivocally” to strengthen their support for abortion rights. As if there were any doubt about the message that these changes send to the party’s radical factions, here is feminist Linda Hirshman celebrating in a piece for Slate: “With the release of the new platform, the emancipation of women may once again become a legitimate political position.”

Some conservative Democrats and a few leaders on the religious left have cited other shifts, such as the inclusion of access to “family planning services” and “age-appropriate sex education” in the platform, as evidence that the party is softening its stance. But phrases like “sex education” and “family planning,” especially when uttered by government officials, rarely warm the hearts of conservative, religious Americans.

If Democrats had wanted to “make room” for pro-lifers, they could have. One proposal for the platform was a statement of “conscience” — that is, language noting that people of good conscience can disagree on abortion. This was rejected by the platform writers.

The full article can be found here. The article in Slate by Linda Hirshman can be found here.


44 Responses to “Democrats On Abortion”

  • Just to be clear:

    The Democratic Party platform only re-affirms the current status of U.S. law – essentially that a woman has the unequivocal right to choose an abortion until such time as the fetus becomes “viable”, or in exceptional circumstances (mother’s health, etc.), afterwards.

    In addition, the Democratic Party platform includes a strong statement in favor of women who choose not to have an abortion:

    The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.

    Meanwhile, the Republican Party platform radically diverges from current law – advocating that in no case should a woman be allowed to choose an abortion, even within the first days of pregnancy (when the “fetus” is no more than a cluster of tissue cells); even cases where she has been raped; and even when her own life is at risk.

    See here

    To my ears, the Republican position is the one that seems “extreme”.

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