Which party holds extreme views on abortion?

Last week, I asked and answered the question, “Which candidate holds extreme views on abortion?” In this post, I ask the same question about the two major political parties. Which one holds the most extreme views on the abortion issue?

If you get your news from the mainstream outlets, you might be led to believe that Republicans alone are the extremists. After all, they just wrote into their party’s platform a pro-life position that only makes exceptions for the life of the mother (no exception for rape or incest). I have seen report after report describing the abortion plank of the Republican platform as extreme, yet I have heard next to nothing about the Democratic party’s plank on the same issue.

But have you considered the other side of the story? Perhaps you are surprised to learn that there is one, but there is. Have you considered the fact that the Democratic party platform supports tax-payer funded abortions all the way through the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy? Newt Gingrich effectively pressed that point on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, and nearly everyone around the table looked at him as if he were crazy for supporting life in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy (see video above).

In response to Gingrich, Thomas Friedman proudly proclaimed himself a “Planned Parenthood Democrat.” Friedman even went so far as to celebrate presidential candidates who defend a woman’s right to kill her unborn child in the ninth month of pregnancy. Astonishingly, Friedman said it was a “defensible position,” even as he declined to defend the position when pressed by Gingrich!

For Friedman to demur at that point made it look as if he lacked the courage of his convictions. That Friedman declined to offer even one morally serious argument in favor of killing fully formed humans in utero fails to pass anyone’s smell test. He offered his opinion. Then when pressed, he claimed to be there as a journalist and wouldn’t defend the party platform.

Where are the intrusive media when you need them? Why are journalists uninterested in reporting on how extreme the Democratic Party Platform is on abortion? Notice the indifference on the faces of the journalists sitting with Gingrich around that table. Not one of them registered a single moral objection to late term elective abortions paid for by tax-payers. In other words, they share the views of the Democrats on this issue. There’s nothing to report and no follow-up questions to be asked because legal abortion in the ninth month is simply the view that any rational person would hold. Why would they report on that?

It’s surprising that more candidates can’t make the case as compellingly as Gingrich does in this video. Yet that’s exactly what the pro-life cause needs right now—someone who can demonstrate who the real extremists are in this debate.


  • Don Johnson

    It is clear that most pro-aborts want to have abortion, but they do not want to talk about it, as even they (despite all their Orwellian doublespeak) know deep down what is going on, namely the destruction of a life in the womb.

  • Dan Phillips

    Gosh, that is such a revelatory snip, on so many levels.

    Plus, that’s a classic example of why people love Newt. If only that were the only Newt there were. There’s also Vain Newt, Crazy Newt, Petty Newt, Shotgun-Mouth Newt… but boy, when he’s on, he is ON. And on this, he’s on.

    • Denny Burk

      Totally agree, Dan. This clip reveals so clearly the biases of the panel. They simply take it for granted that abortion on demand throughout all 9 months of pregnancy ought to be a fundamental right. It reveals that they don’t view this position as extreme in the least. It also reveals how much they look down on dissenting views. Friedman’s response to Gingrich was smug, and was offered as the obvious voice of reason at the table. It’s simply taken as an article of faith that being a “Planned Parenthood Democrat” is a good thing–at least until he’s asked to defend his view, which he cannot do in public.

  • James Harold Thomas

    Denny, I posted a bit on this subject last week at Kevin DeYoung’s blog, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. To what extent should we emphasize our Biblical reasons for being pro-life (i.e imago Dei, the gospel, etc) in our arguments for the pro-life position?

    It looks to me like a lot of folks’ cases for pro-life are basically “the child is a human person and we all agree that we shouldn’t kill an innocent person”. Well, over at Kevin’s blog we had a lady who agreed with the personhood argument, but still argued for abortion on demand because she thinks the mother’s right to her body trumps the baby’s right to life. If a personhood argument is all we got, we got nothing to say to her.

    I do understand the thought that we need more people to be pro-life whether they’re Christians or not, but I’m guessing that what with the “famous violinist” argument I’ve been hearing a lot lately, and more rumblings of “after birth abortion” [shudder], a gospel-less argument for life is going to become less and less relevant.

    • Denny Burk

      Hey, James. I disagree. There are folks like the lady you describe who care nothing about the humanity of the unborn. Having said that, I think those folks are a small minority. Your average Joe is very compelled by the personhood argument. That is why polls tend to show the country moving in a pro-life direction. Ultrasound and 3D imaging have only increased awareness of the personhood of the unborn, and to most people that is a compelling moral argument.

    • Cory L.

      There is a possible resonse to such a person:

      Explain to her that our right to liberty/freedom is a general right *that has its appropriate limits*. For example, we are free to buy whatever car we want to in this Free-Market economy….That is a liberty of ours that is promoted and protected. We do not however, have the right of freedom to drive that car 120 MPH in front of the Elementary school at 3:15 P.M.

  • James Harold Thomas

    Thanks for the quick reply. One quick followup: so (at least) some of our pro-life endeavors should be to only bring the pro-aborts over to our side and don’t have to be evangelistic or apologetic at all?

    (Obviously if someone asked why, I know you’d be ready and willing to give a reason for the hope. This is an honest question about methodology; I’m not questioning you or Kevin’s commitment to the gospel.)

    • Denny Burk

      No, I don’t agree with that implication. In fact, our church has a ministry of sidewalk counseling to women seeking to enter the abortion clinic. Our purpose is twofold. To convince them not to get an abortion and to evangelize them as we have opportunity. We need to be doing both.

  • buddyglass

    I must not be seeing what Gingrich is seeing in the Democratic platform. Here’s what it says about abortion:

    “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

    That doesn’t address the issue of late-term abortions. Some Democrats no doubt support them, but I’m guessing the majority don’t. The party platform reflects that by declining to address the issue altogether.

    The Republican plank (no abortion even in cases of rape and incest) truly is a minority view. Polls show that approximately 15% of the general public holds it and only approximately 20-25% of Republicans.

    On the contrary, I’m guessing most Democrats (excluding the pro-life minority) would readily agree with the abortion plank in the Democratic party platform.

    • Jason Owens

      I think it doesn’t make sense to have any exceptions other than the life of the mother, and I think that has to be carefully defined. If the life is valuable, it is valuable regardless of the circumstances. I don’t think there is any logical argument to the contrary even if it does seem harsh and unfair to the general public. Everyone knows that two wrongs do not make a right.

      • buddyglass

        And I generally agree. But that’s not what’s at issue here. Denny’s echoing Gingrich in saying that the official Democratic platform is that abortion should be legal, available and subsidized up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy. Based on a reading of the platform that doesn’t seem to be the case.

        • Denny Burk

          Buddy, I think you are misreading the platform. It opposes all restrictions on abortion, and says women should be able to have an abortion regardless of their ability to pay. That last line is support for tax-payer funded abortions.

          • buddyglass

            That section I quoted in my first post was all I could find in the platform that dealt with abortion. Unless there’s some other bits I missed, this one just seems to voice support for existing law (Roe, et. al.) and advocates taxpayer support for women who aren’t able to afford the procedure. As far as I know, Roe and subsequent cases only guarantee a right to abortion up until the point of fetal viability.

  • James Harold Thomas

    Thanks, Denny.

    And to show MzEllen I’m not totally offtopic I’ll say that I think Gingrich is right on point here and I wish all pro-life bloggers would link to that video. The Democrat Party has gotten a free pass from the media for too long, and their acceptance (or at least implicit acceptance) of these egregious ideas should be shown for all to see.

  • Dan Johnson

    And these pro abortion folks are the first to raise holy hell when killing babies (in womb) is occuring for the purpose of gender choice. Abortion cannot be viewed as killing in some cases, and not in others. We are not playing horseshoes here.

    With the arguement of, “It’s a woman’s body, and she should be able to do with it as she chooses”. Well, the last time I checked, prostitution is illegal in forty-nine states. Hypocrites!

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