In the waning days of the 2022 midterm election cycle, Democrats around the country clung to the game plan they have had since the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June: Put abortion on the ballot. In doing so, however, they revealed how extreme they actually are on the subject, and how they accidentally lumped many pro-choice minded people in with the pro-lifers.
For years, the arguments surrounding the legality of abortion - not the morality of it, but rather how the government should handle it - had three main camps. Around 20% said that elective abortion should not be legal under any circumstances (exceptions for life of the mother and an inviable fetus are a core aspect of the pro-life movement, regardless of what the detractors said). Another 20% were the opposite, abortion for anyone at any time for any reason. You find out in week 36 that the sonogram was wrong and you’re having a girl instead of a boy, that’s a private decision. Those cases are rare, if not non-existent, but that side said it must be legal.
Then there was where around 60% of the country was, which was some restriction. Where that restriction was, under what circumstances, was up in the air. But there must be something. Since their definitions were so vague, when polled, half respondents would put themselves in the “pro-life” category, and half in the “pro-choice” category. It was a differentiation without a difference.
Of course, as partisans do, each of the 20% claimed the 60% for their own. This is why you hear claims like “80% of Americans are pro-choice” or “80% of Americans want to make late-term abortion illegal.” The manipulative nature of politics made both claims “true” and both claims “false” simultaneously.
Then comes the overturning of Roe with the Dobbs decision, and ordinary people - the vast majority who don’t think about these issues - are being asked to weigh in on the topic. Abortion has become so engrained in the psyche of the nation that many people reflexively believe that there should not be blanket pro-life laws in their state. This is why even a red state like Kansas blocked a ballot proposal amending the state constitution that provided a right to abortion. Status quo is extremely difficult to overcome.
Seeing a newfound advantage in the midterms, the Democrats, who have come to represent the pro-abortion side of debate, pushed the topic to the forefront in lieu of any other campaign strategy. They could not argue on what a masterful job they were doing on crime, the economy, foreign policy, or any other aspect of American life, because they were failing dismally. So they decided to do a full court press on the one topic they think they have an advantage on: abortion.
The problem for them is that the radicals have taken over the party. Gone were the days of “safe, legal, and rare.” Gone were the platitudes of “this is so difficult, but this is a necessary thing.” We are in the “shout your abortion” era. Since medicine has gotten so good at showing everyone just what a pre-born baby is, euphemisms had to take center stage. Terms like privacy rights, health rights, reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and (my personal favorite) reproductive justice.
A style guide created by Planned Parenthood of Michigan and posted to the MichiganDems.com website even had terms not to use. Don’t say “pro-life,” say “anti-abortion.” Don’t say “conception,” it is an “imprecise, non-medical term for the beginning of pregnancy.” Avoid using the term “viability” because that implies that the baby could live outside the womb, and would then give that baby rights. Don’t say “heartbeat bill” when referring to some laws; call it a “six-week ban.” And of course, never say the word “mother” or “woman.” The style guide gives specific instruction on gender-inclusive language because, as we all know, men can get pregnant too.
This is not limited to a simple guide put out by one organization. This is commonplace in the Democratic Party. On multiple occasions, in front of Congressional committees, these terms are being used. They are part of the lexicon. When asked on the various campaign trails if they would consider any restriction on abortion, Democrats like Kathy Hochul in New York, Katie Hobbs in Arizona, Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and many others refused to answer the question, using canned responses like “it’s between the woman and her doctor.” This belies the fact that the government has many things to say on what people do with their own bodies, not to mention with other people’s bodies. Anything from wearing a seatbelt or helmet to taking drugs to getting a variety of vaccinations are all regulated by the government. But on this issue, Democrats think society has no prevailing interest.
The consequences of such a radical departure from the 1990s language on the topic is that everyone who was in the 60% of people who think there should be some restriction on abortion now fall squarely in the “pro-life” camp. They were shoved there, and when pro-lifers helped them up, they were called radicals. Florida’s 15-week ban was called “devastating” and “an absolute infringement on our rights.” Fifteen weeks is nearly four months into a pregnancy. When Lindsey Graham proposed a similar bill to the Senate, it was simply called an “abortion ban,” no ink spilled on the fact that abortions were allowed under that bill well into the second trimester.
With the exception of Sweden (18 weeks) and the United Kingdom (24 weeks), every country in Europe has either a first trimester or complete abortion ban. Blue states in America are incredibly radical on this issue. A law like New York’s - which not only allows abortion until birth for any reason, but also pays for that abortion out of taxpayer funds and pays for other people out of state to come here and get an abortion - is unheard of.
For once, a pro-life politician, when asked about his or her stance on this issue, should say, “I’m running for Assembly/State Senate/Congress/Governor/etc…I’m not running to be dictator. If I were a dictator, I would make certain laws. But since I must compromise, I’m willing to do so.” Then they’ll take out a piece of paper on the debate stage and say to their opponent, “I’ll make concessions on life of the mother, inviable pregnancies, even rape and incest. Where are you going to meet me?” Democrats would have no answer. They have no interest in compromising on this issue. Their base won’t allow it. Because of that, they have unwittingly put 80% of the country in the pocket of the Republican Party. All it takes now is for the Republicans to let them know: “You’re pro-life now. Congratulations.”
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Amariah, an America First Zionist organization. Moshe has a weekly column in the Queens Jewish Link, and has been published in Daily Wire, CNS News, and other outlets. You can follow Moshe on his blog www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, and twitter.com/HillWithView.