WaPo attempts to paint Republicans as real “extremists,” excuses away Democrats who would allow abortion up until birth

By Dave Andrusko

Regular readers may recall a piece that appeared in NRL News Today under the headline “By a 2-1 margin, voters view Democrats as more extreme on abortion than Republicans.”

Nate Hochman, writing on National Review Online, reported that “U.S. voters believe that the mainstream Democratic Party’s position on abortion is ‘more extreme’ than the mainstream Republican position by a nearly two-to-one margin.” That appeared October 19. Frankly, I am surprised it took until October 24 for the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake to attempt to demolish Hochman’s analysis with his own analysis.

Hochman wrote that respondents with presented with two options: 

“allowing abortions up until 9 months of pregnancy for any reason,” or “restricting abortions to only in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger.” When asked which of the two was “more extreme,” 57 percent of respondents chose “allowing abortions up until 9 months of pregnancy for any reason,” as opposed to just 29 percent who chose “restricting abortions to only in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger.” Fourteen percent said they were unsure which of the two positions is more extreme.

Blake notes that which party held which position was not named. “The idea is that the former summarizes the Democratic position, more or less, while the latter summarizes the GOP position.”

Ah…yes. 

“But it’s not nearly so simple,” Blake insists.

This GOP angle of attack — casting Democrats as the real extremists — has shown up repeatedly in campaign ads seeking to explain Republicans’ past abortion positions and recently in debates. Many Democratic politicians will be asked whether they support any limits on abortion, and they will demur by saying something like “the government shouldn’t be involved” or that “that should be up to a woman and their doctor.” Democrats also cast it as a manufactured issue, rightly noting that abortions in the third trimester are very rare and are often pursued for medical reasons.

But that is precisely the position they hold! Democrats in a wide variety of settings refuse to name a single limitation they would accept. You can argue, as I’m guessing Blake personally would argue, that it’s “manufactured issue” because these abortion are “very rare and are often pursued for medical reasons.”

Of course “very rare” means what? In fact the number is at least 12,000 and probably considerably higher. And they are not “often pursued for medical reasons” as we have documented by citing what comes out of the mouth of the pro-abortionists themselves.

A little further down Blake cites a reason [actually an excuse] for Democrats not talking about any limitations before admitting the real reason they trot out these blatant misrepresentations:

Democrats have increasingly avoided addressing any limits on abortion rights in recent years, and the reason is readily apparent: They don’t want to get bogged down in the details. While most Americans support abortion rights and oppose Roe being overturned, polls also show clear majorities often support banning abortion sometime around the window Roe provided (which is viability, or around 22 to 24 weeks). But drawing a line is a recipe for alienating outspoken portions of the base, and it undercuts that talking point that this a women’s rights issue, full stop. [Underlining is mine.]

What conclusion are we supposed to draw? That Democrats, if they had their druthers, would accept limitations but don’t because they fear incurring the wrath of feminists? Or because they believe if they hunker down and don’t get a teeny bit specific, the public will not catch on Democrats would allow abortion up until birth?!

Or both? 

One other point.

Hochman does a nice job pointing out that the public is ill-informed on two other critical aspects. In the poll, sixty-five percent of Democratic voters “believed that ‘the United States is one of the few countries in the world that limits abortions,’ and 59 percent believed that ‘fewer than 500 abortions are performed each year after 20 weeks of pregnancy.’”  

Both are bogus:

As National Review has exhaustively catalogued, America’s abortion laws are far more permissive than most of our counterparts in the developed world, and, as Alexandra DeSanctis noted in 2019, “about 12,000 [abortions] take place after viability,” which “means there are more post-viability abortions each year than gun homicides, according to the most recent FBI estimates.”

WPA Intelligence conducted the poll. WPA Intelligence vice president and director of analytics Matt Knee told National Review

“Even with strong majorities supporting limits after a certain point, it is harder to find common ground on abortion when the majority of one half of the country believes elective late-term abortion is a myth and that most nations around the world hardly regulate the practice,” Knee said. It’s not that voters are on the Democratic Party’s side — it’s that they’ve been routinely lied to about what Democrats actually believe.