National Democrats' lurch toward abortion extremism has been well documented and is at this point an undeniable trend. Look no further than Joe Biden's shambolic flip-flop-flip on the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding policy that prevents federal taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. Before we get to Biden's mess, or the new poll referenced in the headline, two quick points: First, the Hyde Amendment has been one of the few 'truces,' if you will, in the wider public debate over this hot-button issue.
One party has now launched an all-out assault on that decades-old compromise. Second, we've been endlessly told by advocates that abortion is a deeply personal decision that must be left entirely to a woman and her doctor. Oh, and also US taxpayers, they're now adding. Much like the disappearance of "safe, legal and rare," previous rhetorical nods to the heart-wrenching nature of abortion are being abandoned by fervent supporters. As for Biden, his double backflip on this issue is quite extraordinary:
June 5th, 2019, Joe Biden continues his 40+ year support for the Hyde Amendment.— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) June 7, 2019
June 6th, night, Joe Biden caves and drops a 40+-year position to appease progs. Now supports taxpayer-funded abortion, from conception to crowning.— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) June 7, 2019
Recapping Biden's positions on the Hyde amendment:— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) June 7, 2019
1976-May 8, 2019: Supports
May 8, 2019-June 4, 2019: Opposes
June 5, 2019-8:00pm on June 6, 2019: Supports
8:00pm on June 6, 2019-present: Opposes https://t.co/E4BOsrXWbHhttps://t.co/7tsrKfKHRe
This tells us a few things: (1) The Democratic Party's descent into fringe fanaticism on this subject is nearly complete. In order to secure that party's presidential nomination, it seems, one must favor legalized elective abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, with no restrictions, paid for by the American public. (2) Joe Biden was demonstrably ill-equipped to defend his stance, pointing to a lack of preparedness and core conviction that could plague his campaign; he looks weaker today than at any point since his launch. Remember, his team sent out a surrogate to make the case for Biden's long-held pro-Hyde position on television literally the night before he retreated:
"He is a deeply religious man...he is guided by his faith, his position on the Hyde Amendment has been consistent."— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 6, 2019
Rep. Cedric Richmond, national co-chairman of the Biden campaign, defends Biden's support of the Hyde Amendment, which limits using federal funds for abortions. pic.twitter.com/JgxtjaGYKZ
And his campaign was telling reporters things like this:
CNN's Dana Bash yesterday afternoon: "I am told explicitly that it is Joe Biden, himself, who says: 'this is my conviction and I’m not changing it. This is how I have felt and this is how I have voted for my four decades in public service, and I’m not changing...'" pic.twitter.com/BlTHuhdSat— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 7, 2019
If you're going to pull a 180 on a major issue, especially one about which you've spoken publicly and passionately for decades, you carefully scenario plan for that moment. This was a rushed, amateurish cave job. Biden has now walked away from a majority-supported viewpoint on the Hyde Amendment, even as he seems to have the "moderate" lane basically to himself. The playbook to drag him leftward is now established. SE Cupp asks what the point of his candidacy is if he's going to run scared when the Left gangs up on him, even when his stance is popular and entirely defensible. Yes, I said 'popular.' By a double-digit margin, the American people oppose public funding of abortion. And the population for whom the Hyde Amendment would be jettisoned is even less likely to support the idea than wealthier Americans:
Here's an interesting stat on Hyde that runs counter to, oh, every tweet that Biden's opponents have put out today attacking his position. It's one thing to be a voice for the poor. Another thing to pose as a voice for the poor when they, uh, don't agree with you. pic.twitter.com/Cttd7YTQxT— Michael Wear (@MichaelRWear) June 5, 2019
A brand new poll from NPR, PBS and Marist once again underscores the public's contradictory and somewhat incoherent policy preferences on the overall issue of abortion. Pro-choicers will point out that in these numbers, a very large majority wants Roe v. Wade upheld, and more people self-identify as pro-choice than pro-life. But within the same data set, pro-lifers will note that a similarly lopsided majority (also reflected in other data) of the public favors significant new restrictions on the practice -- and fewer than one-in-five voters share Democrats' desire for a no-limits regime:
Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll. What the survey found is a great deal of complexity — and sometimes contradiction among Americans...Even though Americans are solidly against overturning Roe, a majority would also like to see abortion restricted in various ways. In a separate question, respondents were asked which of six choices comes closest to their view of abortion policy. In all, 61% said they were in favor of a combination of limitations that included allowing abortion in just the first three months of a pregnancy (23%); only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman (29%); or only to save the life of the woman (9%)...Eighteen percent said abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants during her entire pregnancy. At the other end of the spectrum, 9% said it should never be permitted under any circumstance.
Yes, you read that right: Seventy-seven percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, yet 70 percent also want major new legal restrictions on abortion. If you add up the coalition of pro-life positions (very limited exceptions, life of the mother, or totally banned), you get to 47 percent of the public -- nearly 30 points higher than the 'abortion throughout the entire pregnancy' posture increasingly adopted by the Democratic Party. In other words, there is far greater popular support for measures like fetal heartbeat bills than there is for the new consensus of the Democratic field of presidential candidates. If that comes as a surprise, it's because much of the media falls within this '16 percent' minority cohort:
NPR/PBS/Marist poll:— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 7, 2019
38% (plurality) of Americans believe human life begins at conception.
75% (super majority) believe it begins -- *at the latest* -- at fetal viability
16% say it begins at birth.
Politicians and lobbyists within that 16% routinely call the 75% "extreme." pic.twitter.com/aevFEuLQNT
As for the point Nikki Haley and other pro-life women have been making, this poll finds that across gender and partisan demographics, conservative women "in many ways, are the backbone of the movement opposing abortion rights." I'll leave you with this:
She was in crisis and was going to have an abortion—but instead she found an adoptive family.— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) June 6, 2019
Just after giving birth she pointed out the simple but profound truth that @PPFA and @NARAL conceal from the women they claim to care so much about.
Take 18 seconds to hear it. pic.twitter.com/jPYyJZ9yOw