After Democrats campaigned alongside Heath Mello, a mayoral candidate who once sponsored pro-life legislation, many pro-abortion forces jumped in to criticize what bare semblance of support for pro-lifers the party may have had left. Many caved, including DNC chair Tom Perez, who campaigned with Mello, but nevertheless solidified a staunch, pro-abortion stance for the party.
Bryce Covert, the economic policy editor of pro-abortion ThinkProgress, recently weighed in at The New York Times. Covert used the Mello/Perez story as a jumping point to opine that abortion should be talked about as an economics issue. He writes:
Democrats, in their postelection soul searching, are trying to learn the lessons from Donald Trump’s jolting victory and how they might win back the presidency. And some — all men so far, it should be noted — argue that the party should move away from so-called social issues like abortion and reproductive freedom.
Abortion Extremism Just Doesn’t Work.
Such sources, whether they be men or women, would be smart to encourage a move away from the extreme pro-abortion stance that many in the Democratic party advocate. Better yet, the party could at least acknowledge that pro-life Democrats exist.
In Live Action News’ end-of-year look on why Hillary Clinton lost, Executive Director of Democrats for Life, Kristen Day, attributed the loss in part to extreme pro-abortion advocacy:
Kristen Day, the executive director for DFLA told Live Action News that “[t]here were other factors that also led to Secretary Clinton losing, but the pro-life issue contributed.” She also pointed to the extremist positions adopted: “The radicalization of the Democratic Platform was unnecessary and a real slap in the face to pro-lifers who tolerated ‘safe, legal, and rare,’ but could not accept legal until nine months and paid with taxpayer funding,” Day said.
Back in the op-ed, Covert lines up with the extremist abortion industry — the one with truly radical views. Polls show that Americans across various demographics and with a variety of views on abortion agree with a number of abortion regulations, many even strongly so.
“Democratic Party leaders have frequently tried to play down abortion to win elections,” Covert notes, seeming to forget the election cycle he just lived through. A re-reading of the pro-abortion 2016 Democratic Party Platform might be advisable.
Covert also calls out pro-abortion Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who ran for president as a Democrat and has a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, but campaigned with Mello. Covert indicates that it’s not enough for politicians to support abortion; they must support it to the point where there is no room for disagreement on this issue — including popular, basic disagreement like Mello’s. Yet Covert’s opinions seem to disregard the reality of Hillary Clinton loss, despite her advocacy for abortion on demand and her close alliance with abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
Abortion as a Solution to Economic Problems?
Covert’s point of relating abortion and economics is not wrong. He correctly points out that many women who get abortions do so for economic reasons. Yet abortion is not a solution to difficult economics; in no other life situation do we advocate taking the life of an innocent human being because money is tight or good finances are non-existent.
There are plenty of other solutions that can and should be discussed, including paid family leave — which President Trump has expressed support for, groups like Teen Mother Choices International and Embrace Grace, support and resources offered by pregnancy centers, organizations, and pro-life families, and the reality of modern adoption (which is very different than what many people have heard).
Offering abortion as a solution to economic problems is only possible when human beings are dehumanized. And supporting abortion on demand is not the only way in which Covert dehumanizes the preborn. Like other abortion advocates, he acts as if women having babies and parenting themselves or choosing an adoptive family is the worst thing to happen.
Offering Abortion as a Solution Isn’t Empowering to Women.
Covert also furthers the common pro-abortion point — which isn’t pro-woman at all — that women can’t choose to parent while also continuing with their plans for school and work. “Women who can get the abortions they seek, however, are more likely to follow through on their employment or educational plans,” he writes, also noting that, “a new child can make it impossibly difficult to hold down a job or get a higher degree.”
While there may be challenges to making school and/or a career alongside parenting work, it’s not impossible. I, and many other women, can speak from personal experience. (Read and watch the amazing stories here and here.) There’s programs like the Pregnant on Campus initiative for pregnant and parenting college students. Many pregnancy centers offer not only referrals for medical care, but also assist expectant and parenting mothers in financial ways as well.
Covert also treats readers to hearing about the pro-abortion “Turnaway Study.” This “study” doesn’t become any less flawed, no matter how many times the media turns to it to claim that women aren’t harmed from abortions, but, instead are harmed when they are unable to have one. As Live Action News has explained repeatedly, this “Turnaway Study” from pro-abortion researchers at the University of California-San Francisco began asking women about their feelings from having or not being able to have abortion, a mere week later — hardly time enough to deeply evaluate a major life decision.
Women being in a financially difficult situation does not equal a need for abortion, though it may equal a need for support. That support can be found. Moreover, women need to be told how strong they are, and that being a woman includes advocating for the children we have — great support system or not. Motherhood begins in the womb, not outside the womb, and we mothers becoming stronger by giving life to our children while finding a way out of our difficult financial situations. It is not one or the other, and it’s time to stop listening to those who tell us it has to be.
Covert closes on a political note, seeming to assume that women must support contraception and abortion. “Women fuel Democratic victories and are at the forefront of organizing against the Trump administration. Their votes and activism are more necessary than ever. It’s both smart economics and smart politics to take a firm line on reproductive rights,” he concludes.
Moms who vote and live pro-life even when it’s not financially easy — such as myself — are living proof to tell him there are other answers.