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Abortion and the Democratic Party Platform

After the 2016 DNC, I have a question:  Why is the Democratic Party making it more difficult for me to vote for Democrats?

Since I don’t usually get into politics here, let me start by stating that I am a pro-life independent.  And, yes, by pro-life I mean all of life.  I’m not a hypocrite.  So, I’m against the death penalty, human embryonic destruction, needless destruction of wildlife habitats, euthanasia, preemptive missile strikes, elective abortions, etc.. I subscribe to neither of the major US political party’s platforms, because neither party’s platform holds all of my beliefs.  Therefore, I choose between both Democrats and Republicans when I vote, being open to members of “third parties”, as well.  And I do vote, taking this civic responsibility very seriously, just as I was raised to do by my family here in New Hampshire.

The Platform of the Democratic Party used to contain the goal of making abortions “more rare.”  But, that kind of thinking is long gone among the party majority and leaders.  The language of the 2016 platform, regarding abortion, states that the Party upholds a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.  Among Democrats, indeed, the rhetoric has been building for years toward equating abortions – even elective abortions – to healthcare.

To be clear, I not only believe that human beings begin at conception, I also know it.  There is no other point, scientifically speaking, at which we can state that a human being becomes a human being.[1]  Is the termination of a pregnancy, then, as a “healthcare decision”, merely the removal of some kind of growth?  No.  Not unless every human being is a mere “cluster of cells” or “clump of tissue” – and the Democratic Party isn’t saying that.  (So far.) 

Abortion as Self-Defense

The termination of a pregnancy always brings to an end a unique human being.  Abortion does not allow that individual to see the light of day.  In cases where a pregnant woman’s life is seriously endangered by the continuation of the pregnancy, one could argue an abortion as an act of self-defense.  As the deliberate taking of a human’s life is called manslaughter or homicide, I could consider abortion when the life of the mother is immediately at stake, or possibly in certain extreme cases of rape, as justifiable homicide.

I understand that this kind of language will irk or unsettle many.  But, shouldn’t a democracy be about open dialogue?  Yet, within the Democratic Party, there seems to be no more room left for discussion.  In the platform, there is no more respect for conscience among their members.  If members are “personally opposed” to abortion, then they are still expected to vote in favor of every pro-abortion policy and law.

Elective Abortions

I am not for criminalizing desperate women facing an unwanted pregnancy who feel that their only choice is turning to an abortionist.  Shame on us as communities and as a society for letting this desperation occur!  Let’s work together on affordable, quality childcare, a living wage, equal pay for women, and affordable housing.  Let’s support and encourage adoption, which includes providing counseling for women and safeguarding the right of women to choose what kind of public or private organization will find the adoptive parents.  This is all part of being pro-life.

But, this is not enough.  What I am for is telling the truth.  Truth matters.  By falsely rendering elective abortion to a healthcare decision, the Democratic Party is setting it up as a good.    We, the people, tend to promote good choices through public policies and programs.  Is the DNC saying, then, that elective abortions, not only shouldn’t be rare, but also should be promoted and encouraged?

And what of the women who, seeing too late the truth of what an abortion is, regret and have severe remorse over their choices to abort?  Are they to be simply dismissed or counseled for a false sense of guilt or some other delusion?  How pro-women is that?

Hillary Clinton Advocates Love?

When she accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party for President, Hillary Clinton spoke rather eloquently about the importance of love in our society and in public policy.  She reminded us that we should not choose fear and pride when making decisions, but, rather, love.  She said, “America is great because America is good.”  Yes, Hillary Clinton, I agree.

When a young woman is experiencing great fear over an unwanted pregnancy, when she naturally wants the easiest and most convenient solution, our hope, as a society and as her brothers, sisters, and fellow neighbors, is that she will not let fear and self-interest rule her decision-making.  With our help and support, we hope that she will be encouraged to choose out of love.  Loving someone enough to give them the gift of life is the greatest love.

And, yes, life is a gift.  That’s why death should never be seen as a solution to any kind of problem – neither to political or economic problems, nor to emotional or social problems.  The answer to violence in our world is love.  That’s pro-life.

It seems to me that to “believe in science” and advocate love while promoting elective abortions as a good is to be hypocritical.[2]

Being Demeaned for Conscientious Objection

Hillary Clinton also said that I should vote my conscience.  Why, then, is she making it so hard?  Seeing any human being as an expendable clump of tissue is unconscionable to me.  Our hearts should break over every individual’s life ended through elective abortion.  We should all be working together to make abortions rare.  It was one thing that pro-life and pro-choice minded people could agree upon together.

But, now, members of the Democratic Party are to see the desire to make abortions rare as “anti-women”.  It’s become equated to a desire to take away a woman’s right to make healthcare decisions – and not a desire to uphold the inherent right to life of every human being.  In the eyes of Democrats, I have become a bigot because I speak reasonable truth and seek to protect human beings as I advocate for the absolute voiceless among us.

I’m not alone.  Democrats for Life feel that they are being belittled and pushed aside from their own political party.

How did this happen?

© 2016 Christina Chase

Democratic Party Platform 1996 

Democratic Party Platform 2016 

[1] There are many dependable scientific sources, but a good place to start is with this article

[2] see Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech: click HERE

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

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