The Corner

Politics & Policy

On Abortion, Democrats Are Overplaying Their Hand

I have an article in The Atlantic today on the recent legislation in New York and Virginia that attempts to expand and enshrine the right to abortion late in pregnancy, even when the unborn children in question are capable of surviving outside the womb. From the piece:

Already, the Democratic Party platform states that it “will protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion” and enumerates no limits on that right. The party also favors removing federal limits on taxpayer funding for abortion procedures. The party’s standard-bearers are in lockstep on this point. During a presidential debate in 2016, Hillary Clinton repeatedly defended her opposition to a late-term abortion ban, claiming that it had not taken into account “the life and the health of the mother.” Her primary challenger Bernie Sanders declined to name any abortion restrictions he would support. Most of the Democrats running for the 2020 presidential nomination have already backed federal legislation that would override most state restrictions on third-trimester abortion.

Given the Democratic Party’s view of abortion rights, the legislation in both New York and Virginia expanding abortion access well into viability—all the way through the end of the third trimester—is best understood as a reaction to its palpable fear that President Donald Trump will reshape the courts to oppose modern abortion jurisprudence. At present, the Supreme Court’s decisions allow judges across the country to block abortion restrictions using nebulous standards, such as whether they impose a “substantial burden” on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. These Democratic bills are an effort to shore up that existing framework and ensure that abortion rights remain available even late in pregnancy, no matter what happens to the makeup of federal courts.

With these laws, Democrats and abortion-rights supporters are not only revealing themselves to be out of step with medical science and public opinion, but they also are exposing the unpleasant reality that every abortion — at every stage of pregnancy — takes a human life. Read the whole piece over at The Atlantic.

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