“Owning” the abortion issue

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obam

The headline on the essay for CNN by historian Timothy Stanley is “Abortion is Democrats’ issue now.” It’s an interesting read, as Stanley offers a plentitude of explanations why President Obama and his party has so unabashedly embraced a platform that “theoretically contains no limit on access to abortion.” (It is not theoretical. The no-limits language can only be willingly misunderstood.)

The best explanation offered for why “the Democratic platform is now the more radical” than the Republicans’ is that Obama (for all his rhetorical feints) is deeply committed to abortion. What Stanley doesn’t explicitly say—and what Michelle Obama was determined to disguise in her speech—is that President Obama is a deeply ideological man.

His faithfulness to the logic of abortion, so to speak, was fully on display when he was an Illinois state Senator. Even though he tries to hide what he did (aided and abetted by the media), in fact Obama consistently opposed bills to provide legal protections for infants born alive during abortions! Everything he has done since to further the abortion agenda—as a United States senator and as President—flows from an ideological commitment that is as unyielding as it is scary.

Stanley argues there may be immediate developments that make it easier—or at least less risky—to go full-bore on abortion. For example, Democrats are comfortable attributing positions to Mitt Romney that he doesn’t hold because they are not called on it. That the Republicans’ platform on abortion is misrepresented day in and day–in spite of a definitive debunking from FactCheck.org which titled its story, “Another blatant abortion falsehood from Team Obama”—gives them confidence that their own radical embrace of abortion will be ignored.

Stanley ends on a cautionary note: while the political winds may appear to be momentarily blowing the Democrats’ way (he says they are), “the constant reference to abortion rights Tuesday night was at risk of coming off too strong.” And there are limitations to the ceaseless “war on women” rhetoric.

But there is another explanation as well: they hope to have their cake and eat it, too. Democrats believe they can laud ”reproductive rights”/”war on women” without paying the price that would be exacted if the electorate understands that Democrats accept any and all abortions up until birth—and happily will use your tax payer dollars to pay for them.

But at some point in time, the dust will settle and the truth about who is genuinely out of step with the American public—Barack Obama—will be seen. And that clarity will come because National Right to Life and grassroots pro-lifers everywhere will challenge the distortions each and every time they occur.