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Democrats Admit They May Want to Go 'Further' Than Restoring Roe v. Wade

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The abortion issue has certainly come up in numerous post-Roe v. Wade elections, as pro-abortion Democrats look to seize on its overturning by often fear-mongering about the pro-life position while hiding their own extremism. We can debate how much abortion actually mattered in these elections or if Republicans would help or hurt themselves by addressing it more head-on, but the issue has undoubtedly been in the headlines.

On Tuesday morning, POLITICO published a deep-dive report with a stunning display of honesty. Their headline admitted, "Democrats want to restore Roe. They're divided on whether to go even further." 

In a way, the sense of honesty is refreshing, though it still lacks transparency from all groups about their bottom line. The piece highlights state ballot initiatives on abortion, including those to make abortion legal after the U.S. Supreme Court handed the decision back to the people through their legislatures in the Dobbs v. Jackson decision. 

Speaking about efforts in Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota to expand abortion, the report describes those measures as ones that "aim to restore the protections under Roe, which still allowed states to restrict abortions later in pregnancy, usually after the fetus could survive outside the womb." It's worth mentioning, though, especially since the POLITICO report does not, that Roe's companion case of Doe v. Bolton still allowed for abortions up until birth due to a purposefully vague "health" exception. 

It's long been pointed out that while Americans support Roe, it's because they don't know enough about what it entails. 

"But some say undoing the Supreme Court's June ruling [in Dobbs] isn't enough, and want ballot measures that bar any restrictions on abortion," the report goes on to read. 

At one point, the report includes a statement from Mallory Schwarz, executive director of Pro-Choice Missouri, who says the quiet part out loud. "Yes, Roe was always the floor. But right now Missouri is in the basement," she said. "It's not the end game. It's the first step in a long term effort and process." 

Curiously, the lengthy article includes insight from ten people representing various groups on the abortion issue, yet none speak up in defense of the pro-life position or critique the claims made in all of these statements. 

On the issue of viability, the report quotes a pro-abortion source claiming it's legislatures who change viability, completely ignoring the life-saving improvements in science and medical technology since Roe was decided 50 years ago. 

"We would never advocate for a false or politically determined limit on abortion," Pamela Merritt, the Missouri-based executive director of Medical Students for Choice, claimed. "Viability is an arbitrary line. It's a legacy of Roe that we don't need to resurrect. And we know the language of viability can be manipulated by state legislatures, just as they are already trying to redefine what a child is or what rape is," she added.

Students for Life of America, a national pro-life group featured in countless articles on the topic from numerous outlets, is one of many pro-life sources left out of the conversation here.

Kristi Hamrick, vice president of media & policy at Students for Life Action, weighed in on the viability issue, highlighting how out of touch the comments from Meritt and others cited are. 

"What's extraordinarily shocking about this article is the open conversation about infanticide among those who have made abortion the center of their political agenda and world," she said, highlighting the focus of these groups. "The argument that viability is some kind of social construct rather than medical fact turns science upside down. As someone who delivered a child so early that my daughter spent time in an incubator, I know that children in the womb are people ready to live. Frankly, anyone who's ever read a baby book knows that as well. What this article shows is the deadened consciences of the abortion lobby, so dedicated to abortion, that even a preborn baby ready to live outside the womb isn't human enough for them."

Further, when it comes to the focus on "viability," not only does the POLITICO report downplay how far Roe really went, but in doing so, they downplay the alarming nature of these ballot initiatives and the extremism of the pro-abortion groups mentioned:

The ballot measures in Ohio and Nevada also only protect abortion until viability, while South Dakota’s would legalize the procedure through the second trimester.

Groups defending the viability limit argue that it is widely supported by voters and has the best chance of passing in conservative and swing states.

“Yes, Roe was always the floor. But right now Missouri is in the basement,” said Mallory Schwarz, executive director of Pro-Choice Missouri. “It’s not the end game. It’s the first step in a long term effort and process.”

They also note that the more moderate language is similar to what voters approved in Michigan in November, and protects the right to an abortion even after the fetus is viable if the pregnancy endangers the pregnant person’s life or their physical or mental health.

The Michigan abortion amendment, known as Proposal 3, was anything but "moderate," though. Live Action News highlighted this description of Proposal 3 from Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, which is that it is an "anything-goes abortion amendment" that would impact over a dozen state laws and remove important safety regulations when it comes to abortion. 

As another Live Action News article highlighted: 

According to Steve Liedel, an attorney for the ballot initiative, “The provision itself on its own does not invalidate any other laws,” reports Bridge Michigan, referring to existing statewide abortion regulations. Yet John Bursch, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that the ballot proposal would create a “constitutional right” that “would trump the (state) statute,” adding, “This amendment doesn’t have any constraint on the right as it applies to every individual.”

In a statement, the Catholic Lawyers Society of Metropolitan Detroit agreed with Archbishop Vigneron’s assessment. “Those supporting Proposal 3 claim that it just returns Michigan to the days of Roe v. Wade, but as lawyers we see that it goes much farther than that—it creates a new, vague, and potentially limitless set of ‘reproductive rights,’ ‘including but not limited to,’ abortion, sterilization, and other procedures and services related to reproduction,” the law society said. “Laws enacted by the Michigan Legislature—including all of the laws already on the books that fully comply with Roe—would be subject to review under Proposal 3 and could be struck down by the courts because of Proposal 3.”

Also, notice how the POLITICO report uses the language of "pregnant person." 

The one caveat that the POLITICO report does make, sort of, that Americans don't support abortion late into pregnancy, is not nearly given as much context as it deserves:

A 2022 Pew Research poll of more than 10,000 people found that support for abortion waned as the pregnancy went along: Americans are twice as likely to support abortion than say it should be illegal at six weeks, roughly split on whether it should be legal at 14 weeks and about twice as likely to say it should be illegal than legal after 24 weeks.

Backers of the viability strategy also argue that a constitutional amendment with more specific language could make it harder for anti-abortion lawmakers to find a loophole in the future.

While such poll findings are consistent and accurate among Americans when it comes to opposition to later abortions, it is not properly addressed how such groups profiled, along with many pro-abortion Democrats, are not on the same page with Americans in this regard. Many are all too happy to support abortion up until birth without legal limit, as they themselves admit, though often through fancy language. And yet, it appears to be hardly rebutted. Instead, such group representations are given a glowing profile. 

One such example of pro-abortion extremism comes from Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any entity in the country. 

"We have long said that Roe was never enough, especially for marginalized communities shouldering the hardest impact of abortion bans," said Vanessa Wellbery, the vice president of policy and advocacy for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, who also said the quiet part very much out loud. "We are deeply committed to rebuilding a system that ensures all people can access abortion and all providers can provide it without political or legislative interference."

And there's more than that:

Adopting a viability limit, however, would mean agreeing that abortion can’t always be a unfettered choice between a patient and physician, a concession that is too much for some local and national groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ultraviolet and Medical Students for Choice. These groups warn the ballot measures as written will permanently lock in limitations they consider dangerous — and they’re threatening to withhold their support unless changes are made.

By POLITICO's own admission, when it comes to including such poll findings, these groups are on the losing end in their own way. Yet stunningly enough, there's no proper pushback, as they are instead given a platform to promote their extremist views. 

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