While Democrats are trying to make the 2022 midterms about abortion, one thing that seems to be missing from the debate is Democrats being clear about their position on abortion.
Oh, we know they support abortion rights, but what restrictions, if any, do they support on the procedure? Thanks to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks gestation, Democrats are being put on the spot to explain what restrictions on abortion they support.
One top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who some polls suggest might be in a tight race year, clumsily dodged such a question this week.
“I supported what was the principle in this country for 50 years, and that is the Roe decision, which was rejected by the Supreme Court and has now put our country into chaos,” she told Fox News Digital.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly refused to answer multiple direct and specific questions about Biden’s position on abortion.
“Does President Biden favor any limits on abortion?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked.
“We’ve been very, very clear here,” Jean-Pierre lied. “Since you’re talking about my topper, I was talking specifically about Senator Lindsey Graham.”
“And your position on his plan is clear: 15 weeks is unacceptable?” Doocy followed up.
It would have been effortless for Jean-Pierre to clarify whether Biden supports a 15-week ban or not, but she continued to evade the question.
“And I was — I was speaking to — directly to what Republicans are trying to do,” she said. “They are calling — they are calling for a national ban, which takes us backwards.”
“A limit at 15 weeks, right?” Doocy asked to clarify.
Jean-Pierre again refused to clarify, “Which will — which will — it’s a national ban which will take us backwards and will put at risk the health of women,” she said before trying to deflect away from the issue of abortion entirely. “And here’s the thing about this, Peter, it’s not just a national ban on abortion. We’re talking about privacy. We’re talking about contraception. We’re talking about marriage. That is what extreme Republican officials are trying to do. That’s what we’re speaking to.”
She added, “I’m not going to get into specifics here. I’m just going to lay out what — what they have said that they’re going to do.”
“Why not get into specifics?” Doocy asked. It’s a fair question that she, again, refused to answer. “The Republicans are saying, ‘We don’t want abortion after 15 weeks.’ Why can’t you say how many weeks the president thinks the limit should be?”
“So — so, as you know — as you know, Kevin McCarthy put out the GO- — GOP agenda.”
“I am not asking about Kevin McCarthy,” Doocy retorted. “I’m asking about Joe Biden and his—”
“I am answering,” she claimed. “I am answering…”
Of course, she didn’t answer. Thus, Joe Biden’s current position on abortion remains a mystery. And good luck trying to get him or any Democrat on the record about what restrictions, if any, on abortion they support. Why? Because as we’ve noted here at PJ Media before, polls have consistently shown that while Americans generally believe abortion should be legal, there should be limits on it. Support for abortion drops significantly each trimester, and Democrats know they can’t expressly advocate for abortions until birth without facing political consequences. So, even as Democrats blast Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed national 15-week abortion ban, they refuse to offer anything but abstract abortion talking points combined with misleading language accusing Republicans of wanting to ban all abortions.
So, while Graham’s bill may not get passed any time soon, one thing is for sure: It succeeded in putting Democrats on the defensive on abortion. If they can’t talk about Graham’s bill without addressing the specific restrictions they may or may not be open to, then voters who have a problem with abortion up until the moment of birth (which is a majority of Americans) may think twice before voting for a Democrat who won’t go on record opposing it.
At the very least, it’s put Democrats on defense on an issue they think will carry them over the finish line in November.