Politics & Policy

Who’s Pro-Choice?

Democrats like to allow women to have abortions, but not much else.

Almost unanimously, Washington Democrats call themselves “pro-choice.” “I support a woman’s right to choose!” they thunder into any open microphone. “Choice,” of course, means abortion, though they rarely yell that word as loudly.

Being able to have abortions is where the Democrats’ passion for choice starts and stops. Elsewhere, Democrats sabotage a woman’s right to choose. Instead, they demand to make that choice for her, as they do for men.

• I support a woman’s right to choose not to perform an abortion. Democrats disagree. While they rally early and often for the freedom to receive abortions, many Democrats oppose the same freedom for those who prefer not to give abortions. Due to religious, ethical, aesthetic, and other personal reasons, some medical workers prefer not to perform abortions. Democrats actively deny them that choice.

President Obama overturned a George W. Bush–era rule that protected the right of medical professionals to refuse to do abortions because of reasons of conscience. Obama’s Feb. 18, 2011, executive order strips this right from medical professionals other than doctors and nurses.

• I support a woman’s right to choose whether or not to use a traditional Thomas Alva Edison incandescent bulb. Democrats disagree.

The House of Representatives voted July 12 on a measure to repeal federal regulations that effectively will criminalize sales of Edison’s bulb starting next January 1. According to Freedom Action’s Myron Ebell, violators face a federal penalty of $200 per offending bulb sold.

Among 239 Republicans, 228 (or 95 percent) voted to liberate women (and men) so that they could choose among inexpensive incandescent bulbs, pricier LEDs, compact fluorescents (tainted with toxic mercury), and even candles. (Five thinking Democrats supported the GOP majority.) On average, candles cause 15,260 home fires and 166 attendant fatalities annually, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Yet candles remain legal.

Among 192 Democrats, 183 voted to deny a woman this choice, echoing President Obama’s veto threat. (Ten statist Republicans concurred.) Fully 95 percent of Democrats defended a 2007 law (signed by socialist Trojan Horse G. W. Bush) that is steering Americans, like cattle, toward alternative bulbs.

“These standards are not taking choices away,” Energy secretary Steven Chu recently told journalists. The polite word for Chu’s statement is “Orwellian.” The precise word is “lie.”

New federal efficiency rules deliberately raise the bar higher than Edison’s bulb can leap. Regulations that wittingly exceed a product’s defining features prohibit the product itself. Why should Washington take away donuts, for instance, when it could criminalize fried-dough pastries that encircle holes?

• I support a woman’s right to choose whether or not to use Avastin. Obama’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee disagrees. On June 30, ODAC rescinded its approval of this treatment for late-stage breast cancer. ODAC decided that Avastin’s side effects were not worth its five-month-average life extension, even though it lengthens the lives of “super responders” by upwards of two to three years. Perhaps ODAC forgot that a key side effect of metastatic breast cancer is death — as 40,000 women discover annually.

But that hardly matters to the pharmacrats who snatched this choice from some 17,500 American women who use Avastin. Ironically, those Obama-administration members likely support a woman’s right to control her body — but only regarding abortion.

• I support a woman’s right to choose whether or not to buy health insurance under Obamacare. Congressional Democrats disagree. They voted in near lockstep last year to compel women (and men) to participate in Obamacare. Without exception, Republicans opposed Obamacare and its individual mandate.

• I support a woman’s right to choose to send her child to an alternative school that accepts educational vouchers. Unfortunately, Washington Democrats disagree. Soon after Obama was inaugurated, the then-Democratic Congress scotched Washington, D.C.’s voucher program. It gave roughly 3,000 students vouchers worth up to $7,500 to escape Washington’s calamitous government schools. Despite its promising results, teacher unions detest this program. So, after Obama took charge, congressional Democrats swiftly killed it. Never mind the choices of the poor, mainly black mothers whose kids these vouchers benefited. Fortunately, House speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) successfully reauthorized these vouchers within last April’s bipartisan budget agreement.


• I support a woman’s right to work. Democrats disagree. Sen. Jim DeMint’s National Right to Work Act (NRWA) would allow a woman (and a man) to choose whether or not to join a union. So far this Congress, the South Carolina Republican’s legislation has received a cold shoulder from Democrats who uniformly support compulsory unionism. The Senate last voted on NRWA on January 22, 2009. DeMint introduced it as an amendment to the 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The motion to table DeMint’s amendment succeeded with 66 yeas to 31 nays, thus killing the measure. While the Senate’s 41 Republicans split 31 to 10, (76 percent voting with DeMint; 24 percent against), Democrats were unified. All 54 Democrats on the floor, and left-wing independents Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, voted 100 percent against allowing a woman to choose whether or not to become a union member. Instead, these 56 voted unanimously to force her to join a union as a condition of obtaining work at a labor-dominated shop.


“Every Democrat voted against women’s (and men’s) right to choose whether to support a labor union,” observes Patrick Semmens of the National Right to Work Committee. “Apparently they didn’t want Lilly and other women in the workplace to have freedom of choice when it comes to supporting Big Labor.”

• I support a woman’s right to choose Internet gambling as a pastime. Unfortunately, Obama’s Justice Department disagrees. On April 15, it hijacked the domain names of Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker — three foreign-based poker websites. Justice eventually let Poker Stars and Full Tilt serve foreign gamblers, provided that they discriminate against Americans. Thankfully, Antigua-based Absolute Poker is fighting Justice’s authoritarianism before the World Trade Organization.

If a woman chooses to kill the young American in her womb, nearly every Democrat in Washington, D.C., will fight for her like Marines at Iwo Jima. But if a woman desires almost any other choice, Democrats impersonate the Great Wall of China.

Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


The Latest