This is a comment we received earlier this year when we announced our rebranding. It’s worth addressing.
Regarding the first assertion: Pulse Life Advocates neither affirms nor denies the science of climate change, since scientists themselves disagree on the subject, as our blogpost from last year (“The anti-life politics of climate change”) points out. Our interest in the subject was piqued by the growing perception among young people that human life poses an existential threat to Mother Earth.
Our piece quoted young people so terrified of a climate apocalypse that they refuse to bring children into this world, whether that means aborting their babies or being sterilized.
Republicans against abortion?
So does that make Pulse simply an organization of ‘Republicans against abortion?’ No, since we’re a non-partisan organization. But let’s be honest, there is not a single bonafide pro-life Democrat left in Congress. The last, Dan Lipinksi from Illinois, was ousted by his own party in the last election cycle, beaten in his primary by a pro-abortion Democrat promoted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Lipinski, who spoke at this year’s March for Life in Washington DC, said
“I’ve been labeled anti-woman because I am pro-life.”
Just a decade ago, 64 Congressional Democrats worked to strip abortion funding from the Affordable Care Act, efforts that were ultimately undermined by the Democratically-controlled Senate.
Since then, pro-abortion groups and politicians, such as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, have led the charge to successfully oust the last of the party’s pro-lifers by running pro-abortion candidates against them in their local primaries.
It’s kind of hard for Pulse to defend a charge of being ‘Republicans against abortion’ when there’s not a single Congressional Democrat left that is remotely pro-life.
Women’s Health Protection Act
Take a recent bill, the dishonestly named Women’s Health Protection Act. Pulse Executive Director, Maggie DeWitte, said this of this bill touted by Democrats:
“The Women’s Health Protection Act would make us more pro-abortion than China.”
Essentially, the bill’s sponsors believe it would codify abortion and override all anti-abortion regulations passed by state legislatures, such as the fetal pain restrictions Iowa’s legislature passed banning abortions after twenty weeks.
This bill was proposed by Democrats in 2013, 2015, and 2017, failing each time. What is interesting is that its latest version, voted on just last month, removed carve-outs for parental-notification laws, such as we have on the books in Iowa.
In other words, Democrats recognized that laws which required parental notification before their child could obtain an abortion resonated with voters across the country. Until this year, the Women’s Health Protection Act allowed for those laws to stand. But since the party has been purged of its last pro-life member, the exemption was dropped.
In this year’s cloture vote on the bill, every Democrat in the senate, except for Joe Manchin, voted yea, every Republican voted nay.
Iowa abortion politics
At the state level, Maggie DeWitte said it’s the same story:
“Democrats have unanimously opposed every single proposed pro-life piece of legislation in recent years, including the Protect Life Amendment which simply makes the Iowa Constitution abortion-neutral. By contrast, Iowa Republicans in the House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly in support of pro-life legislation.”
So in a sense, it’s hard to argue with the phrase ‘Republicans against abortion’ when every single member of the Democratic caucus at the national level calls for taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand for a full nine months of a pregnancy, while Republican legislators consistently oppose these efforts.
Democratic politicians are out of touch with rank and file voters
These Democratic legislators need to be wary, though, because they are out of touch with their own constituents on this issue. A 2018 Marist Poll revealed that only 21% of rank and file Democratic voters agree with their party that abortion should be “available to a woman any time during her entire pregnancy” (compared to 3% for Republican voters).
Even more, 61% of Democratic voters “want significant restrictions” placed on abortion.
Pulse Life Advocates recognizes that any reference to political affiliation can be instantly polarizing. But let’s face it, abortion polarized this country half a century ago. Nothing has changed with Republican legislators on this issue since. Nothing has remained the same for their Democratic counter parts.