Health

Abortion Not Up for Debate

Life of the unborn, life of the mother — concerned women will watch VP debate with great interest

Cecile Richards, the action fund president of Planned Parenthood, has unequivocally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president along with her running mate, Tim Kaine. “This is about so much more than Planned Parenthood,” Richards said. “Health care for an entire generation is at stake.”

Richards is wrong. It’s more than just health care for the next generation — their very lives are at stake.

Less than 15 percent of abortions [in 2015] were performed because of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life.

Last year alone, American doctors performed 1.21 million abortions. Planned Parenthood contributed by aborting an average of one baby every 97 seconds. About 75 percent of these abortions are performed because “having a baby would dramatically change [the mother’s] life,” according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit based in New York City and Washington, D.C. Less than 15 percent of those abortions were performed because of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life.

Abortion has long been a divisive issue, but the 2016 Clinton and Kaine platform endorses a more liberal, more brutal, stance than ever before. Clinton and Kaine aim to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year-old bipartisan agreement that prohibits federal funding from supporting abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life.

A repeal of this law would open the funding floodgates to abortion clinics nationwide. Earlier generations of Democrats seemed to understand and respect that some taxpayers’ consciences would be strained when forced to fund abortions. That respect no longer exists.

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Kaine’s choice to support this measure disregards public opinion — and reportedly his own conscience as a Catholic. The most recent polls show that 62 percent of Americans support these restrictions on abortion funding. Other surveys report that eight in 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal only in the first three months of pregnancy.

Related: Why Abortion Trumps All Other Issues

When Kaine served as governor of Virginia, he held a more moderate position on abortion. He supported parental notification and consent on abortions for pregnant teenagers. He banned partial-birth abortions. After all, why should it be legal for doctors to dismember and dissect an infant capable of living on his or her own?

Earlier generations seemed to understand and respect that some taxpayers’ consciences would be strained when forced to fund abortions. That respect no longer exists.

But now, leaning much further left, he believes unborn babies have no constitutional rights and that abortion should be legal in late-term pregnancies. Never mind that babies developed past 25 weeks can survive outside the womb. The doors of the Clinton-Kaine platform swing wide open: They believe in no restrictions on sex-selective abortion and no protections for children born alive during abortion procedures.

Kaine received a 100-percent approval rating from Planned Parenthood.

On the other hand, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, the Republican governor of Indiana, has demonstrated an unusual amount of sympathy for unborn children. Earlier this year, he signed into law restrictions on aborting infants for reasons of disability, race, or sex.

Related: Democrats Out of Touch on Abortion

Pence recognizes the discrimination so often apparent in abortion. One University of South Carolina study showed that up to 85 percent of women abort babies with Down syndrome diagnoses, even though test results are sometimes unreliable and children with this condition still live fulfilling, energetic lives. However, aborting these children has become the expectation — not the exception.

Pence’s law also prevented the remains of fetuses from being dissected, dismembered, and sold. The corpses of unborn children must now be buried or cremated.

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“I sign this legislation with a prayer that God would continue to bless these precious children, mothers, and families,” Pence said in March. The law never went into effect, as Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, of Federal District Court for Southern Indiana, struck it down during the summer.

Indiana Right to Life, a pro-life movement, noted that Judge Pratt had been appointed by President Obama and declared that her ruling “denied the civil rights of unborn children” and was “an appalling human rights injustice.”

Whether abortion comes up in tonight’s debate is yet to be seen. But it’s a critical health, religious, and social issue for millions — and the candidates’ views on it do matter.

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