Democrats rage over whether abortion is a litmus test

Since Roe v. Wade, Democrats have used abortion as a wedge issue against Republicans. Liberals demonized pro-life conservatives for the grave crime of preventing a woman’s “right to choose” what to do with their bodies. Apparently, such liberties are far more than important than killing a human being that has no way to defend him- or herself.

However, it now appears that abortion has become a wedge issue within the party.

Breitbart recently reported that California Governor Jerry Brown made the sensible comment that Democrats should be open to pro-life candidates, for no other than practical reasons.

California Governor Jerry Brown says the Democratic Party should be open to pro-life candidates as it seeks to regain control of the House in 2018.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Brown, a Democrat, rejected the notion that his party needs to embrace “ideological purity,” and said the Democratic base is “shifting.”

“I’d say, look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn’t very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion,” Brown said. “So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion.”

“In America, we’re not ideological, we’re not like a Marxist party in 1910,” Brown added. “We are a big tent by the very definition.”

As one who has repeatedly criticized Brown on this blog for several reasons, it is encouraging to see him defend Democrats who hold traditional, and dare I say, logical positions.

It is also encouraging to see both Democratic leaders and up-and-comers with the same position. While Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or Kamala Harris can not be categorized as pro-life in any way, at the very least they reject the notion that there should be a litmus test relating to abortion.

However, the same can’t be said about the feminists and abortion advocates within the Democratic party.

Twitter has been flooded by threats by liberals threatening to hurt the Democratic party in some way if it supports pro-life candidates.

For example, “comedian” Rosie O’Donnell had some … interesting reactions to a lack of an abortion litmus test.

That party ought to do well in the electoral college. Then there’s this one.

I have three reactions to this. First, no thank you. Second, if you become pregnant, then what? Isn’t this what this is all about? Lastly, since when is it men who are the only ones concerned about the welfare of an unborn child? The premise behind the supposed patriarchy preventing women from doing something to their bodies is simply astounding.

Then there’s former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who says he’ll refuse supporting Democratic Congressional campaigns if pro-life candidates are allowed to run.

Then there’s New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand, who keeps her head high on the principle that unborn children can be killed so that women somehow stay healthy.

In short, it appears that the riff abortion has caused within the Democratic party won’t be healed anytime soon.

With respect to my own position, while Murray Rothbard famously believed that abortion was acceptable, primarily on the grounds that women have to do whatever with their bodies as they wish, Father Jim Sadowsky, a friend of Rothbard’s, disagreed strongly:

But is the infant a trespasser the moment his presence in the womb is no longer desired? Does he have no right to be there? Murray [Rothbard] and Walter [Block] simply assume that the infant has no right to be in the womb. Yet it is by no means evident that their answer is the correct one. To say that x is trespassing is to say that he is somewhere where he ought not to be. But where should a foetus be if not in its mother’s womb? This is its natural habitat. Surely people have a right to the means of life that nature gives them? If the home in which the infant grew were outside the mother’s body, we should all see that to expel him from that home would be to deprive him of the nature-given means of life. Why should the fact that his nature-given home lies within a woman’s body change the situation? What is a woman’s womb for except to house the infant’s body? It is nature that gives the child this home, this means of life. When we cast him out, we are depriving him of that which nature gave him. To do this is to violate his rights.

However many problems the Democrats may have, if pro-life candidates have an opportunity to get elected into office, at the very least the most vulnerable human beings may have a better chance of their injustices being addressed in Congress.

1 thought on “Democrats rage over whether abortion is a litmus test”

  1. I tend to hew closest to Dr. Block on this one; his “evictionism” I believe to be the closest we’ve come yet to a truly libertarian answer to the question: http://www.walterblock.com/publications/compromising-the-uncompromisable-a-private-property-rights-approach-to-resolving-the-abortion-controversy/ . It is important to note, of course, that evictionism is a libertarian legal theory and nothing more; I do believe that a woman has a moral responsibility to a child she conceives (as of course does a man), but that is not quite the same issue. For my own part, if I ever find an issue ambiguous, I tend to come down on the side that does NOT involve killing any babies.

    All of which said, I do find it disgusting that people are now trying to sanitize the process of baby killing by labeling it “reproductive health.” Ignorance is strength, I suppose.

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