Hill OpEd: Reid, Dems running scared on abortion issue

This article originally appeared on The Hill.  Read the original here

By Maggie Gallagher

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is running scared on abortion.  That may be surprising to conventional pundits who believe “social issues” are ruining the GOP politically, but you can tell when a Democrat leader is scared of a social issue – when he attacks his GOP opponents for allegedly acting on “politics” not principles.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) rallied with prolife groups to push for a vote on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks (around five months), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and made Reid sound annoyed, not at all the happy War on Women camper:

“As we know he’s got a difficult primary down there, and he keeps moving further and further to the right. That’s what this is all about,” Reid groused.

Reid is not alone in moving away from the Democrat’s official pro-abortion rhetoric.  Texas pro-abortion darling Wendy Davis (D), who sprang to national prominence with her failed attempt to filibuster in favor of late-term abortion, is also sounding a subtle retreat: “I am pro-life,” Davis said during a campaign stop at the University of Texas at Brownsville, according to theValley Morning Star, “I care about the life of every child.”

This may be because even the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling, had to note in April that Davis is very unpopular in Texas, with a 47 percent unfavorable rating.

“In a matter of months, the Democrat has gone from calling abortion ‘sacred ground’ and a guarantor of ‘liberty, the freedom to choose what your future will hold,’ to calling herself ‘pro-life’ and keeping her campaign website and interviews free of any mention of abortion,” notes LifeSiteNews.

For some months after Romney’s loss in 2012, the Left appeared to believe they had persuaded the GOP to fall silent on “social issues,” accepting their War on Women beatings without fighting back.  But under Reince Priebus’ leadership, the GOP’s growing recognition that the best way to fight back against the Democrats’ absurd War on Women rhetoric is to attack Democrats’ pro-abortion extremism, is making Democrats nervous.

West Virginia’s Democrat-controlled Senate passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, putting pressure on Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) to demonstrate his support for the ban on abortions in the fifth month of pregnancy.

In Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor (D) is clearly running scared, walking away from reporters who ask if he is willing to support or oppose the federal 20-week abortion ban.

In Louisiana, embattled Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is doing a similar dance away from the Democrats’ War on Women extremism, refusing to say she would oppose the 20-week abortion ban, even while suggesting to the Weekly Standard that abortions in the fifth month of pregnancy or later are not really “late-term” abortions. “So I’m going to have to look at that bill and make a decision. I’ve opposed late-term abortion, but 20 weeks is midterm.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month at the RNC meetings in Memphis two things of note happened.  First, conservative RNC leader Carolyn McLarty pushed back against the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry coalition’s successful push to remove both marriage and life from the Nevada state party’s platform. Even more significantly, “continuing the bold pro-life direction of the party committee under chairman Reince Priebus,” as Breitbart put it, the Republican National Committee officially supported the 20-week abortion ban.

“The Republican Party is proudly pro-life and this resolution shows our support for this straightforward, simple pro-life initiative,” RNC Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse of Delaware (and my fellow board member at the American Principles Project), the resolution sponsor, said.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List noted, “What we are seeing now is the disconnect between the DNC elites who pushed for the plank of ‘taxpayer funded abortion on-demand, up until birth’ and the candidates now tasked with running on that platform through an election. At a time when more and more Americans are calling themselves pro-life and support commonsense, compassionate limits to abortion like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, it is shaky ground.”

A funny thing just happened on the way to the Democrats’ War on Women. Women fought back. And the Democrats are trying to find a way to retreat from political disaster.

Maggie Gallagher is a fellow at the American Principles Project and writes at MaggieGallagher.com.

6 comments
RebeccaLeighRandolph
RebeccaLeighRandolph

Someone should explain to Landrieu that in today's world of medical advancement, a baby can be born at 24 weeks and not only survive, but live a happy and healthy life.  Being in favor of snuffing out that baby's life just 4 weeks prior to that does indeed make her in favor of late-term abortion.

Anne
Anne

The above comment somehow showed up out of place. It was supposed to come in response to comments Maggie's recent post on same-sex marriage. Sorry. Not sure how that happened.

Anne
Anne

As a Catholic American, I find it hard to understand why it's necessary to fight interminally over this issue. Civil divorce with the right to remarriage has been a reality for centuries, and the churches still follow their own beliefs without fear of being coerced into recognizing what they don't want to recognize. Certainly, no Catholic groups are claiming the government morally coerces them in this regard, even though there are divorced and remarried spouses claiming insurance coverage from church-run institutions and many such couples renting apartments and ordering wedding cakes from Catholic establishments. The Church can survive in any culture, and Vatican II agreed we can do it on civil society's terms. It's time we stopped panicking at every new challenge.

Sharon Kass
Sharon Kass

See www.washingtonpost.com. Ban on ex-gay therapy for minors to be proposed in D.C. Committee hearing this month. TIME FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. We have got to get serious and this is the only way. We must have learn-ins all over D.C.

Alfred Dodini
Alfred Dodini

Hurray!! This is another reminder that we should never give up, never compromise on the truth, and never loose hope that people of character will eventually recognize truth as long as we keep speaking it. I realize that not everyone is willing to step up and put their jobs on the line by taking a firm position on moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, but they can at least provide support and encouragement for those who are. And while it may take a generation or two before the world recognizes the errors our culture has made, I believe that time will come and today's adults must be certain to pass those values onto future generations if those changes are to occur.

Dr. Bruce Abbey
Dr. Bruce Abbey

Alfred Dodini, Please allow me the privilege of observing that you seem to have on rose coloured glasses from the same manufacturer from whom Ms. Gallagher has purchased her own pair. Your bland comment here smacks of smarmy sugary platitude stemming from either indoctrination or ideology or both, but far removed from either reality or any "true" morality. A few fundamental realities for you: 1) ...19 states plus D.C. have legal SSM and many more are on the way. Many of those couples will adopt the babies or older children with abandonment problems, that Christianist couples passed over. Feel free to tell us if you personally, however have adopted a few unwanted children. Reality check: LGBT are "real" people too and deserve both love and the creative joy of raising a family. Annise Parker, the 3rd term current mayor of Houston has revealed that she has a son, Afro-American, thrown out by his own "Christian" family when he came out to them as gay. How many children can say that the Mayor of America's 4th largest city, reached out with love and fundamentally saved their life. 2) The world is vastly overpopulated... but that is apparently no concern to people with rose coloured glasses, prescibed a false biblical sexual morality that oppressed women, and allowed wealthy men to have lots of wives and concubines. Don't bother cherry picking. They is a lot of bull and evil behaviour in the bible by the followers of Yaweh. 3) With overpopulation, comes overuse of resources, carbon fuels, climate change, storms, tornados, rising seas, droughts, crop failures, grasshoppers, (known as locusts in the good book) sickness, epidemics, species extinctions and a very unfriendly future for mankind, including you and your children. Right wing American conservatives are noted for their extreme greed and blindness to reality amidst all this coming "future shock" which is already at our doorsteps. I would drop the high moral tone if I were you, because like Maggie herself, you really could use a good immediate epiphany. Think you are a good Christian? Think again! Take a long hard look in the mirror. If you cannot locate any dissonance in there, well I guess leadership is not for the morally weak nor for those who cannot connect the dots. Homo Sapiens will only survive on this planet with both good science and a detemined effort by the vast majority of citizens, some of whom have woken up to the fact. Not part of the solution? Remain a bigot, keep your rose coloured glasses on your nose ,and accept that its pretty SAD for you, and not so good for your fellow mankind either. Although maybe, just maybe it is not too late you to turn off FOX/FAUX news and become a volunteer to improve people's actual lives in this life, instead of speculating about the next one somewhere in the clouds of self deceptionl. Sorry to be blunt in responding. but sugar coating things leads to diabetes and debility. But hey, have a nice day!