Ambiguity on abortion works for Democrats – and here's why

Ambiguity on abortion works for Democrats – and here's why

Ambiguity on abortion works for Democrats – and here's why

Vice President Kamala Harris is the latest example of Democrats refusing to take a clear stand on exactly what the party believes in terms of any type of restriction on abortion.

Last month, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated on her MSNBC program that Democrats do not support abortion up until birth. However, policy decisions that occurred during Psaki's time in the administration – decisions such as the effort to "codify" a radical abortion plan after a leaked draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson opinion which led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the pro-abortion Women's Health Protection Act – suggest she's way off the mark.

Democrats remain content to swim in murky waters on abortion, and the vice president certainly made no effort to clear things up. In a Face The Nation interview this week, host Margaret Brennan (above, left) asked Harris what week she believed abortion access should be cut off.

"We need to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade," the VP responded. "From Day 1, the president has been clear, I have been clear. We need to put back the protections that are Roe v. Wade into law. Since the Supreme Court took it, Congress has the power and ability to pass legislation to put those protections into law, and Joe Biden will sign that bill."

Daniel, Katie (SBA Pro-Life America) Daniel

"[Democrats won't support limitations on abortion because] their biggest donors are the abortion industry – it's Planned Parenthood, it's these companies that make money off of these abortions. So, [Democrats] are really stuck by having to wrestle with the fact that most people don't support their position, but their biggest donors don't want any limits."

Katie Daniel, state policy director
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America

Harris refused to name a certain time in the pregnancy that abortion should no longer be performed, and that point of no return is a defining point for many on how they feel about abortion.

Brennan circled back and asked the restrictions question in several ways. Harris said the characterization that Democrats favor abortion until birth is "ridiculous," but she would only repeat her talking point of Roe v. Wade protections being put into law.

"The way that will happen," Harris said, "is if we have a U.S. Congress that would agree, regardless of their personal view for themselves or their family, that the women of America should be trusted to make decisions about their life and their body based on what they know to be in their best interest. It's that simple."

Dems banking on familiarity of Roe – not the truth of it

Meg Kilgannon, the Family Research Council's senior fellow for education studies, said on Washington Watch Monday that the public over time came to generally accept Roe v. Wade, and that helps the Democrats' policy of ambiguity.

"They are hitting on a nerve because America is trained to sort of be comfortable with Roe in general terms … the pro-choice community is. So, when they keep going back to that language around Roe, it allows them to be completely vague and supportive of a woman's right to … whatever. We need to be more specific," she told show host Tony Perkins.

Kilgannon, Meg (FRC) Kilgannon

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe in 2022, returning the ability to regulate abortion to the states, it in effect also overturned the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. That 5-4 decision upheld Roe but allowed states greater freedom to restrict abortion as long as there was not an "undue burden" placed on the woman seeking the abortion. Undue burden became the standard as opposed to Roe's trimester considerations.

"[Harris] is willing to talk about Roe because it polls well, because people don't know what it is," Kilgannon said. "They don't understand the gradual chipping away that the pro-life movement was dedicated in doing. Either you're for killing people, or you're for not killing people."

If Democrats are successful in making Roe v. Wade national law, many state laws that have been successful in restricting abortion would be wiped away.

"And so would important protections in women's health," Kilgannon continued. "Abortion is very dangerous to women's health in point of fact. If it's going to happen, it needs to be very controlled; so when they do something like the Women's Health Protection Act, they're rolling back all kinds of good regulations of this quote-unquote 'medical procedure' that we really need for safety."

9/14/2023 - Sidebar added