by Janet Robert
Published in The Hill on January 22, 2015
Progressives are pro-science, right? From clashes over climate change to school text books, the common refrain from progressives is that we stand on the side of the most credible and advanced scientific evidence. Yet on abortion, we see far too many progressives closing their eyes to the breakthroughs that have occurred through technological innovation in understanding development in the womb.
For those who oppose any further restrictions on abortion, the motives seem clear. The Roe v. Wade decision used trimesters to provide guidance for laws regulating abortion. Restrictions on abortion were not to be permitted until the child was viable—capable of surviving outside the womb—and viability was linked with the third trimester of pregnancy.
I feel like we are in a time warp.
Ten years ago, I wrote a post-election analysis on why Democrats failed in the 2004 election. Senator John Kerry had been the Democratic nominee for President. Kerry used the abortion boilerplate language endorsed by NARAL and embraced by most Democratic strategists since New York’s Governor Mario Cuomo’s famous speech years earlier arguing that an elected official should not try to impose his or her personal position on abortion on anyone else nor legislate on it. Therefore, even though Senator Kerry believed that life begins at conception, he stated that he would not vote to protect life. The party used Kerry’s example as an excuse to usher pro-life democrats out the back flap of the big tent with an arrogance that said our vote did not make a difference.
As a result, Senator Kerry lost to George Bush. The Republicans secured their 233-seat majority in the House and built to a 55-seat majority in the Senate. In the 2004 post-election analysis, I wrote, “Pro-life Democrats are not surprised by the outcome of this year’s elections. In fact, pro-life Democrats have been pleading with the national party for respectful inclusion in the party. Unfortunately, the “big-tent” party has allowed itself to be controlled by pro-choice forces and the Democratic party has suffered as a result. For the past 25 years, pro-life Democrats have been leaving the party over the issue of abortion.”
I recently watched the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Michael Boggs, President Obama’s pick for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. As a Democrat, I was appalled by the line of questioning by the Senate Democrats, who never steered away from attacking the pro-life views of the nominee to focus on other issues relevant to his qualifications.
It is one thing for abortion rights groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood to opposed candidates and judges who hold a pro-life position. They hold selfish reasons for doing so. Abortion is their livelihood. It is another thing for senators, who are charged with vetting judicial candidates, to ignore their responsibility and instead represent the minority views of one industry.
With all the talk about contraception and abortion, we wanted to reinforce what we, as pro-life Democrats, have articulated for years. Give pregnant women a real choice by providing support to carry the child to term.
Statistics consistently show that financial concerns are the number one reason women choose abortion. Our Pregnant Women Support Act signed into law in 2010 is taking that reason away and providing assistance to women who do not want abortion but lack the necessary resources or support to carry their pregnancies to term. You can read some highlights here.
** The following was published in The Hill – Congress Blog **
Last I checked, the Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird decisions, which provided a constitutional right to contraception for married and unmarried couples, still stand. No one has been denied access by law.
So what is all the fuss with the Hobby Lobby decision? Why is there a flurry of bills addressing abortion and contraception in the U.S. Senate? Did the Supreme Court ban contraception or women’s access to contraception in their recent ruling?
The answer is no.
by Kristen Day
When I first read that Virginia State Senator Phil Puckett (D-Lebanon) would resign, I was not surprised. It is not an easy task to be a pro-life Democrat in a party that continually pressures against pro-life votes and for changing one’s position on abortion.
While a loyal Democrat, Puckett provided critical votes to pass pro-life legislation in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which was not received well by abortion advocates in the party nor the Democratic leadership. His last election was one of his toughest—not because his position changed on any issues, but because Republicans were able to package him with a “pro-abortion” party.
In a recent Fox News interview, former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky said of her primary opponent Brendon Bolye, “He is not pro-choice, and it is a litmus test, and he fails it.” Boyle went on to win the Democratic Primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. Her divisive comments proved not to reflect the sentiment of that district. Yet this desire to purge pro-life members from the Democratic Party continues unabated and has been a major contributing factor to the decline of the Democratic Party.