Now That There’s an Election, Democrats are Remembering They are Pro-Choice!

Democratic Congressional  candidates across the country are highlighting the extreme anti-choice positions of their Tea Party opponents, as in the TV ads below. Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck supports a "personhood" ballot initiative that could ban forms of birth control that take take effect after the sperm meets the egg. Sharon Angle infamously said rape victims should not abort their rapists' fetuses, but instead should turn "a lemon situation into lemonade."

The problem, of course, with Democrats using choice as a wedge issue is that they've capitulated so heavily on the issue, passing a health reform bill that limits abortion access instead of expanding it, as much of the Democratic base had hoped. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sharon Angle's opponent, even describes himself as pro-life. Reid supports parental notification laws, a ban on abortion services for women in the military, and has just a 29 percent rating from NARAL.

Ezra Klein noted this morning that "what most engaged Democrats know about health-care reform is it doesn't have a public option." I'd argue that another thing engaged Democrats know–especially those crucial Democratic single women voters– is that the bill was a disappointment on reproductive rights. Groups like NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW spent a year blasting their email lists with increasingly dire warnings about how health reform could enshrine anti-choice policies like the Hyde Amendment. And that's exactly what ended up happening.

So as hard-hitting as these TV ads are, I think the Democratic base is skeptical right now of buying into the party's rhetoric on choice. (That said, a smart voter should realize the Tea Party-controlled GOP will be exponentially worse for choice than the Blue Dog-swayed Democrats.)




2 thoughts on “Now That There’s an Election, Democrats are Remembering They are Pro-Choice!

  1. anne

    There’s also the HHS ban on abortion coverage for women in high-risk pools. That’s Obama’s cabinet, and nobody asked it of him or Sebellius.
    There’s always the Green party, since the Dems don’t seem to want to make it worth my while to vote for them.

  2. Flewellyn

    I wouldn’t describe the health care reform bill as a “disappointment” on reproductive rights. “Outrage” seems more accurate.

    Otherwise, fully on board with you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>