How to Return Fire on Abortion
We Need To Stop Running Away From The Issue
Recently, Sen. Mark “Uterus” Udall (D – CO) faced off against Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Cory GardnerHouse Republican Average56% at a debate hosted by the Denver Post. As expected, abortion quickly came up as a topic and quite unusually it was a question that potentially put the Democrat on the spot – i.e. given what we now know about the stages of fetal development, at what week would Udall support a ban on abortion? Predictably, Udall dodged the question and went to poll-tested pablum attacking Gardner for his “extreme” position on abortion, with no further pursuit by the questioner.
Annoyingly, no doubt listening to his consultants, Cory Gardner also let it slide.
I think that was a mistake – why can’t we ever have a Republican actually go on the offensive on this issue? The last time I saw a Democrat made to backtrack on abortion was in a debate between Steve Lonegan and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Cory BookerSenate Democrat Average0% (in 2013) when Lonegan charged that Booker position amounts to support for aborting a baby in the eighth month of pregnancy.
… which, despite Booker’s swift protests to the contrary is actually true; the official position of the Democratic Party is that a woman should be able to terminate the life of her unborn child right up to the due date.
In a better world, I’d have every pro-life Republican running for office practice some version of this broadside Cory Gardner should have responded with;
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% and his colleagues on the other side of the aisle loved to throw the word “extremist” around. But here’s the truth; Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0%‘s position, his party’s official position on abortion is that there should be absolutely no restrictions on abortion at any point for any reason during the pregnancy, even the eighth or ninth month. Even when it poses no danger to the life or health of the mother, even when the child has no congenital problems and is perfectly viable. That, by any definition, is a very extremist position.
It is a position that is at odds with an overwhelming majority of the American people, including a vast majority of Colorado women.
Let’s also be clear about something; multiple studies have shown that less than 5% of abortions are because of any threat to the life of the mother or because of a fetal deformity. So while I certainly sympathize with the lady in Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0%‘s story, the plain fact is that her circumstances are thankfully not typical and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% is using her story and her baby’s unfortunate condition as a loophole for the termination of many more unborn children who have no such condition and pose no threat to their mothers’ lives or health. So if there is anyone trying to distract people on this issue, it’s Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0%.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% and his party have become so extreme on abortion that they’ve fought against parental notification laws in many states. What this means in practice is that they believe a thirteen year old girl, pregnant from being abused by, for example, her adult neighbor should be able to walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic and have an abortion without her parents knowledge much less their consent. Which means that after her procedure, the thirteen year old returns home without anyone being any the wiser and the abuse continues.
Again this is an extreme position at odds with the majority of the American people, and the women of Colorado.
And again, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% and his party have become so extreme on abortion that they continue to fight against common sense legislation enacted in many states to make abortion clinics meet the same hygiene and emergency treatment standards as any other outpatient surgical center. These are basically the same standards your orthodontist must meet to operate a dental clinic. If that is not extremist, then I don’t know what is.
If, like Booker, there are protests at the eight or ninth month charge … press on with something like;
So are you saying, Senator, that you do believe that at some point in a pregnancy, that there should be some restriction on abortion? What trimester? What month? Six? Seven? Eight? Are your friends at NARAL aware of this?
In response to the usual rejoinder about rape and incest;
Again, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% is bringing up a distraction. According to federal statistics and numerous studies, less than 1% of abortions are as a result of rape or incest. Our hearts certainly go out to these women. But these are thankfully very rare and exceptional cases. The problem here is that Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0% and his party have been cynically using these cases as a loophole for the remaining 98% of abortions that are of viable unborn children that are not the products of rape or incest, and furthermore pose no threat to the life or health of the mother.
In the case of parental notification, the usual rejoinder is to posit the extremely rare case where the child is being sexually abused by a parent. Response;
Once again, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark UdallSenate Democrat Average0%, you’re bringing up extremely, and thankfully, rare circumstances and trying to use them as a loophole. According to multiple studies, parents happen to be the least likely to be culprits in the sexual abuse of a minor. In other words, Senator, if a young girl is pregnant, the least likely person to have abused her is her father. So, by keeping parents in the dark, you’re making it far more likely that the young girl would return to the hands of her abuser.
And even in the horrible cases where a parent is involved, notification makes it more likely that the abusers would be exposed before they attack other children. At no point does your party’s preferred solution – allowing the child to undergo the procedure without informing her parents – and go back home where she is still vulnerable, improve anything.
Endpoint: If the typical (i.e. liberal) moderator were to know that he or she would be opening the door to this kind of attack on the Democrat, one can reasonably predict that their enthusiasm for questions about “Choice” would noticeably reduce.