Taxpayer-funded abortion is the abortion lobby’s next big goal. And the Democratic Party has gone so far as adding it to their 2016 party platform. But getting taxpayer funding for abortion would mean overturning the Hyde Amendment, an amendment that has been added onto the appropriations bill every year since since 1976. It bans federal Medicaid funding of abortion, something that Americans overwhelmingly support. And while the Democratic Party may have made pro-abortion extremism a cornerstone of their party, not all Democrats are pro-abortion. Some of them are pro-life — and they’re fighting back.
A group of pro-life Democrat senators are speaking out against the platform change, which Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said “advances our party’s progressive ideals and is worthy of our great country.”
Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania wrote a letter to the platform committee, reminding the party “that many Americans remain morally opposed to abortion, and do not wish to see their tax dollars go to pay for abortion.” Sen. Joe Manchin, who represents West Virginia, called the platform change “crazy.” In an interview with the Weekly Standard, he said, “It’s something that I know most of the Democrats in West Virginia and most West Virginians would not agree with. I don’t either.” Joe Donnelly, Indiana, released a statement through a spokesperson, saying that he “has long supported and continues to support the Hyde Amendment, and as a pro-life Senator believes all life is sacred.”
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, meanwhile, is pro-abortion… yet still disagrees with repealing the Hyde Amendment, a position that was reaffirmed yesterday. She continues to believe that abortion should be legal, but her position on the Hyde Amendment shows that a pro-abortion Democrat can still, at least, see the sense in not forcing taxpayers to fund abortions through Medicaid. “She also supports the Hyde amendment and a state’s right to mandate parental consent for minors or restrict partial birth abortions, except when medically necessary to protect the life of the woman,” a spokesperson said.
The reaction of these Democrats shows that, while many Democratic Party leaders are trying their hardest to push pro-abortion extremism, there are still Democrats left with principles and ethics on the subject of abortion. However, the party’s insistence on becoming more and more entwined with the abortion industry has put more and more of a strain on pro-life Democrats. Democrats for Life of America has recently spoken out about the number of Democrats who are being left behind by this new, abortion-obsessed party:
Polls consistently show that about one-third of Democrats—that’s 21 million Democrats—oppose abortion. If we are going to increase our base to win back the majority and keep the White House, our Democratic nominee must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the issue of abortion.
Americans consistently support a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. A Marist poll funded by the Knights of Columbus found that 7 out of 10 Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, with less than 1 in 10 Americans strongly supporting taxpayer-funded abortion, and 69% of women opposing it. Quinnipiac likewise found that most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, even among low-income Americans, who oppose it 68% to 26%.
The Democratic Party needs to take a cue from these pro-life Democrats, and remember that they are supposed to answer to these Americans, and not Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.