The Democratic Party bragged about making their 2016 platform the most pro-abortion platform yet. But on Election Day, Democrats and Hillary Clinton — who was endorsed by, funded by, and had staff associated with Planned Parenthood — suffered a giant loss. As a result of the 2016 election, the Republican Party, which adopted the most pro-life platform in years, will not only control the White House in 2017, but also a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Is the Democratic party’s pro-abortion platform to blame?
Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) thinks it at least contributed. 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. Polls supported Day’s claim, as Life News reported:
POLLS: 13% ADVANTAGE TO PRO-LIFE POSITION
A national poll of voters taken on election day, November 8, by the polling company Inc./Woman Trend found that essentially half of all voters (49%) said that abortion affected their vote. How did they vote – 31% said they voted for candidates who opposed abortion while only 18% said they voted for candidates who favored abortion – a 13% advantage for the pro-life side. When you think how close the vote was in Pennsylvania and other states which determined the election, it is clear that abortion made a clear difference in the election.
In a press release the day after the election, Day noted that Clinton and the party “decisively lost,” and that Trump’s election, as well as “the weakness shown in the coalition of Democratic voters should surprise no one.”
Day cautioned “‘that the party is slowly dying and on the way to being irrelevant if it does not start a dialogue with its pro-life members. For years, Democrats have been eroding their base of pro-life voters as abortion opponents flee to the Independent category and Republican Party.” DFLA’s press release continued:
The recent election reflects the party’s shift to wholesale support for the abortion industry. Standing on a severe party platform on abortion, Hillary Clinton lost soft Republicans, anti-abortion Independents, and millions of pro-life voters in her own party. She lost key states, long part of the Democrats’ Blue Wall, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“One of the reasons she lost these groups is that she championed an extremist abortion platform, one that embraces so-called later-term abortion and rejects bipartisan efforts such as the Hyde Amendment,” Day said. “Clinton promised that if elected, she would nominate pro-abortion justices to the Supreme Court.” The consequences are dire. Americans throughout the country rejected the Democratic allegiance to abortion-on-demand throughout pregnancy, giving Trump Republican majorities in the House and Senate and in governors’ mansions and state legislatures. “Americans want to see wages rise, and they want to see more people protected with health insurance, and they want to protect the environment, but they absolutely do not support abortion-on-demand,” Day said.
Day also pointed Live Action News to a July report, “Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and Achieve our Party Goals Nationwide.” In a section titled, “Where We’ve Been — Great Days in 2006 and 2008,” the report spoke of having goals such as a move away from radical pro-abortion views, a “Move to the Mainstream,” “Stand Up to Pressure Groups,” and “Agree the goal should be to reduce abortion.” These goals were originally suggested in, “Take It Back, Our Party, Our Country, Our Future,” by James Carville and Paul Begala after losses in 2000 and 2004.
From an analysis by Heidi Miller, one can see that the Democratic Party Platforms have become more radical in abortion over the years, culminating in the results of the 2016 election. Polls reflect that Americans across demographics — and even with various beliefs on the abortion issue — favor abortion regulations and restrictions. Polls also show that Millennials favor them even without necessarily calling themselves pro-life.
As Day noted: “At the time of the Convention, it looked like Sec. Clinton had a good chance of winning. So, our argument was ‘Democrats may be able to win the White House, but they lost middle America.'”
Other Democrats may be turning from the Platform besides DFLA. As Catholic News Agency reported, “The abortion plank of the platform – [was] criticized even by President Obama’s 2012 campaign director of faith outreach Michael Wear as ‘morally reprehensible’…”
Planned Parenthood had a big stake in the 2016 election, but the voters did not agree with the abortion chain’s extreme positions. Live Action News covered this reality in more detail here. Planned Parenthood was committed to spending millions to get Hillary Clinton and other pro-abortion politicians elected. The 2016 election highlighted that it is the abortion industry — made up of groups such as Planned Parenthood, as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America — which advocates for extreme positions on abortion and attempt to claim the public agrees with them.
However, Americans reject absolute pro-abortion positions. If Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton had gotten their way on Election Day, abortion would be available on demand throughout pregnancy and paid for by taxpayer dollars. When a political party takes such an extreme position, Day believes there’s little room for those who are pro-life or even just not as heavily pro-abortion. As reports from DFLA emphasize, pro-life Americans — especially pro-life Democrats — were left behind in 2016.
When asked what the Democratic Party will do in the future, Day had some misgivings. “I was hoping falling to the bottom would be a wake up call to bring back big tent inclusiveness, but I predict it will be a fight for control between the liberals and the progressives, and all the other important constituencies that contribute to the Party becoming a majority again will be left out of the board room,” she said. But, she does hope to be wrong, and is hopeful that the “Democrats choose a chairman, like Howard Dean, who understands the importance of including pro-life Democrats in the party.”
2016 taught us that pro-life Americans cannot be ignored. Pro-lifers absolutely exist across party lines, as DFLA proves, but this reality cannot only be remembered at election time. Favoring abortion on demand is bad both in politics and in the day-to-day culture.