A great shift on abortion has taken place within the Democratic party. Though supporters of abortion have become more extreme and more out of touch with the beliefs of the majority of Americans over the years, these depraved views were officially unveiled at the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ new, radical platform on abortion received little attention or review after being announced.
Gone are the days when safe, legal, and rare defined the stance of liberals on abortion. Though it was a Clinton who first expressed that sentiment, the Democrats under the current iteration of the Clinton dynasty seem to have rejected it. The new Democratic platform instead claims that “every woman should have access to … safe and legal abortion”, sans the rare. More concerning is the Democrats’ desire to “oppose- and overturn- federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion”. Democrats now target the very policies enacted to make abortions safer and rarer in order to protect women. Most often demonized are the policies which regulate abortion clinics like any other healthcare facility. The most startling positions outlined in the Democratic platform are opposition to the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortion, and the Helms Amendment, which bars the use of foreign assistance funds to provide abortions outside the USA. This opposition is simply unprecedented.
Clearly, the position of the Democrats has shifted drastically to a desire merely to make abortions as accessible as possible. The Democratic platform in 1996 called for making abortion less necessary and more rare. Abortion was viewed not as something to be celebrated but as a necessary evil. Hillary Clinton once claimed that abortion was “a sad, even tragic choice.” Now, however, it is treated as a fundamental right and an accepted means of both population control and family planning.
The baseness of the new stance of the Democrats is reflected in the baseness of their tactics. At the convention, Planned Parenthood used virtual reality headsets to show attendees “Across the Line”, a virtual reality immersion that claims to depict the experience of entering an abortion clinic. Though it may seem like a frivolous use of technology at a presidential convention, the virtual reality campaign clearly demonstrates the new views of the Democrats in two distinct ways.
First, the campaign seeks to make abortion more acceptable and opposition less acceptable. The makers of the video decry the “shaming and stigmatizing” around the decision to get an abortion. Planned Parenthood officials said they hoped that people would “change their minds about the procedure and the stigma surrounding it” after seeing the video. This is, of course, in line with the new position of the Democrats. Rather than being a procedure that is inherently bad but necessary, they now argue that abortion ought to be treated without stigma as any other medical procedure, despite the fact that it is a medical procedure that ends the life of another human being. The argument has shifted from its necessity to its morality. Those in favor of abortion want a society in which abortion is not only highly accessible but is also a decision made with little thought, regret, or hesitation.
Second, it seeks to demonize pro-life supporters and activists. In an ironic twist, it does so using a staged and manufactured video. Described oxymoronically as a “documentary- fiction depiction”, the film allows one to walk through a crowd of pro-life protesters screaming insults and slurs in order to get to an abortion center. The makers describe this nightmare experience as one that “thousands of people across the country face” every year. While the reality is that pro-life protesters are often subdued and compassionate in their pleas for life, PP employed “the age-old art of storytelling to share the experience” of a few women and generalized it as the most common. This, too, agrees with the new line of Democratic thinking. Hillary Clinton herself, in regards to the “extreme positions” of pro-life candidates, claimed their views are more in line with “some of the terrorist organizations”.
Though it did not receive much attention, the issue of abortion at the DNC is of the utmost importance. The Democrats have shifted their platform and now wish to repeal regulations on abortion that have stood for decades. Using virtual reality headsets, they have also demonized pro-life advocates and attempted to normalize abortion. A dangerous shift indeed.
RTL Media Co-Chair
Class of 2019