Last week probably marked a milestone in American political extremism. For more than forty years, former Vice-President Joe Biden held what he called a “middle-of-the-road position on abortion.” He backed bans on late-term abortions and voted more than fifty times on Capitol Hill to uphold the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion.
Writing at The Washington Post, Marc Thiessen notes how that middle-of-the-road position has, at least in the last few years, made Biden something of a dinosaur among Democratic leaders. (That’s not an age joke, by the way.) To put it bluntly, the former Vice-President was one of the last high-level representatives in the Democratic Party of an older liberal view on abortion. Not that long ago, abortion was proclaimed, by the political left, a necessary evil to be used in extreme circumstances—you know, “safe, legal, and rare.”
I say Biden “was” one of the last, because just days ago he caved to the extreme abortion lobby that now drives the Democratic Party. He dropped his support for the Hyde Amendment. This happened after a backlash from fellow Democratic presidential contenders. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren all tweeted their outrage at Biden’s “moderate” position. They were joined by organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, all demanding federal funding for any abortion as a matter of women’s rights.
Biden’s surrender came just before another presidential contender, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, compared pro-life views to racism and antisemitism. Speaking with the Des Moines Register, Gillibrand said, “I think there’s [sic] some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable.”
That’s no minor statement. For forty years, pro-lifers and pro-choicers have fought viciously over abortion. Pro-lifers were called “religious,” and “hypocritical,” and “wrong.” But unlike other issues today, pro-lifers were not dismissed from polite society as “evil.” Well, at least until now.
Still, as Thiessen points out, the percentage of Americans who think abortion should be available at any time during pregnancy for any reason is a small minority—only about 13 percent. By contrast, a new Marist poll commissioned by NPR and PBS found that a super majority of Americans—75 percent—support some restrictions on abortion and oppose federal funding.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris