How the Democrats Have Colluded to Restrict Reproductive Rights: 4 Examples

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1. The Hyde Amendment

The Hyde Amendment, passed for the first time in 1976, prohibits federal funds from being used to provide abortions. This has hit poor, Black, Latina, Native American, and rural women hardest. In 1977, Rosie Jimenez became the first woman known to die after the Hyde Amendment deprived her and other women of safe abortion care.

Since 1976, The Hyde Amendment has been re-approved and signed into law every single year—including by three Democratic presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Obama went so far as to further enshrine it through Executive Order 13535, which explicitly prohibited federal funds for abortion in the context of the Affordable Care Act.

2. “Safe, Legal, and Rare”

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, anti-abortion violence surged, and legislative attempts to end abortion mounted. Bill and Hillary Clinton responded that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” “Rare” implies that abortion is wrong, but abortion is not wrong. What is wrong is forcing a woman to have a child against her will. The Clintons repeated this mantra for decades, including during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. This craven ceding of the moral high ground to rabid anti-abortion fascists disoriented and demobilized millions as abortion rights were systematically stripped away.

3. Democrats Boycott the Funeral of Dr. George Tiller

In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his church by an anti-abortion fanatic. Dr. Tiller was one of the most respected abortion providers in the U.S. and one of just three to provide late-term abortions. More than 1,000 mourners attended Dr. Tiller’s funeral, including abortion providers from around the country and many former patients. Not a single Democratic politician showed up.

4. The Democrats REFUSED to Make Abortion Central to the Fight Against Gorsuch or Kavanaugh

Donald Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. In response to both of Trump’s fascist Supreme Court appointments, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the Democrats refused to make abortion central to their opposition. No leading Democrat stated that it is completely illegitimate and immoral for the state to force women to bear children against their will. The Democrats refused to throw down and mobilize people to stop these nominations. In the case of Kavanaugh, the Democrats focused instead on Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assaults as a youth in a way that was not at the heart of the danger he posed and harmed important principles related to due process. All this rendered the millions who support abortion passive while legitimizing a court that is now poised to drop the hammer on the right to access abortion and birth control nationwide.


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