October 16, 2019 - Wednesday
Measuring the Dem Mentions of Abortion
October 16, 2019
If you're looking for the most outrageous part of Tuesday night's debate, close your eyes and point to any part of the transcript. The better question might be: is there any part of the Democrats' agenda that isn't outside the American mainstream? From creating a White House office of baby killing to recruiting soldiers with HIV, the moments of primetime sanity were few and far between.
When the curtains closed on the Houston debate in September, California Senator Kamala Harris (D) complained that she didn't get a chance to show off her abortion radicalism. Last night, she got her wish. She and the group of would-be presidents spent more than 1,800 words explaining how devoted they are to annihilating children in the womb. Only one stood out: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). In a country where 92 percent want to ban late-term abortion, she was the only Democrat running for our highest office who agreed.
Even to "pro-choicers," a third-trimester limit on abortion -- which is really the barest of unborn protections -- should be a no-brainer. And yet, Gabbard comes out of Tuesday's debate like a hero for opposing what -- until recently -- would have been common ground for both parties. In a liberal culture where infanticide is the new abortion, heartland Democrats are grasping at anything that doesn't smack of abortion extremism. Over at Democrats for Life of America, leaders begged moderators to "facilitate a real debate" about what restrictions on the procedure -- if any -- the candidates would agree to. "Does the party have a message to 20 million pro-life Democrats other than, 'Drop dead?'"
Turns out, they don't. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) even took the opportunity Tuesday to exalt abortion to a holy status, calling it a "sacrosanct ideal" on par with liberty. "And so," he went on, "I'm going to deal [with this pro-life momentum in the states] by elevating it like we have with other national crises to a White House-level position. And I will create the Office of Reproductive Freedom and Reproductive Rights in the White House and make sure that we begin to fight back on a systematic attempt that's gone on for decades to undermine Roe v. Wade." This is how Cory Booker plans to get elected -- by dedicating an entire government agency to the slaughter of innocent children?
And yet, as far as Booker is concerned, the biggest "existential threat in America" isn't war or terrorism -- or even the Left's pet crisis in climate change. It's the future of Planned Parenthood. "We're in a state, [Ohio], that has had two Planned Parenthoods close." But if that's hurt business, you wouldn't know it. Thanks to taxpayers' half-billion dollars in forced donations, the "nonprofit" still has enough in the tank to spend a record $45 million on next year's elections. If you want a snapshot of the industry's priorities, that's it. As Abby Johnson said, if Planned Parenthood really cared about women's health, they'd be putting that $45 million into their clinics. And judging by the state of their facilities, they could use it!
But Booker hardly cornered the market on abortion extremism. As far as Kamala Harris is concerned, pro-life leaders are "outdated and out of touch, mostly men who are telling women what to do with their bodies... There needs to be accountability and consequence." Her idea? Use the Department of Justice to block and overturn state pro-life laws. She called it "pre-clearance." We call it lawless overreach. Then, of course, there were the usual nods to the Democratic platform -- promises to make Roe v. Wade permanent law, abolish the Hyde amendment, appoint pro-abortion justices, and export abortion to other countries.
In the basket of crazy ideas tossed around before the debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vowed to overturn the president's transgender military policy and clear the way for people infected with HIV to enlist. Unfortunately for her, there's no such thing as a constitutional "right to serve" in the military. As former Defense Secretary James Mattis pointed out: "The vast majority of Americans from ages 17-24 -- 71 percent -- are ineligible to join the military for medical, mental, or behavioral reasons..." But then, people like Warren aren't interested in the facts or the potential harms of the far-Left position. All they care about is using the military to advance their fringe agenda at the very real expense of national security.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for the Democrats' position on religious freedom or liberty, don't bother. The time they spent on the topic just about sums up how much concern the party has for it: Zero. With headlines full of concern over Syrian Christians, Uyghur Muslims, the Hong Kong protests, and so much more, an entire stage of candidates can't be bothered to pause for one second and talk about one of the true life-or-death issues of our time.
President Trump was right. Speaking to the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, he warned, "On every front, the ultra-Left is waging war on the values shared by everyone in this room." A few years ago, he pointed out, you could say you believed in the freedom of religion, "and it would have been sort of routine. Today, you say it and you get standing ovations." Why? "Because we're under assault." And if the 12 liberals standing on that stage get their way, we haven't seen anything yet.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.