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.