Sasse and McCain: Democratic Party Has Been 'Captured' by 'Extremist Abortion Industry'

Sen. Ben Sasse
Sen. Ben Sasse / Getty Images
March 11, 2019

Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) and Meghan McCain teamed up to publish a blistering critique of the Democrats' abortion stance over the weekend, accusing the Democratic Party of being "captured by the loud voices and deep pockets of an extremist abortion industry."

In an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Sasse and McCain, who's the daughter of the late Republican senator John McCain, argued Democrats have moved to the extreme after claiming in previous years that they sought to reduce the number of abortions.

They wrote, "the party of 'safe, legal and rare' has been captured by the loud voices and deep pockets of an extremist abortion industry that treats abortion as a moral good. Major Democratic politicians are even unwilling to protect the lives of babies who survive attempted abortions."

Acknowledging there are "complicated debates to be had about abortion," the two argued that "infanticide isn’t complicated. The current debate is about whether or not it’s OK to deprive newborns of appropriate medical care."

They slammed media outlets for framing the issue of abortion "with cheap euphemisms and a prefabricated narrative," and describing "all pro-life policies, even ones backed by a majority of Americans, as 'controversial.'"

McCain and Sasse cited New York's new abortion law and Gov. Ralph Northam's (D., Va.) comments about infanticide as examples of how the abortion industry is "playing offense."

"Gov. Andrew Cuomo lit One World Trade Center pink to celebrate late-term abortion and the removal of protections for babies born alive during botched abortions," they wrote. "Meanwhile in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide outright, suggesting that a baby born during a botched abortion ought to be 'made comfortable,' but then possibly left to die on the table."

They criticized the 44 Democratic senators who voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which "would have required health-care providers to give babies who survive abortions the same care they would give to any other baby at the same gestational age."

"It shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be partisan.... Yet under enormous pressure from an abortion industry that spends tens of millions in campaign contributions, Senate Democrats—including six seeking the presidency in 2020—filibustered the bill," they wrote.

"This debate is about infanticide. Planned Parenthood is defending that crime. Many in the national media are overlooking it. Democratic politicians are hiding from it. But the American people are repulsed by it. The recent vote was a missed opportunity to protect the most vulnerable among us. But it will not be the last," McCain and Sasse concluded.

Only three Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, even though it had nothing to do with obtaining an abortion.

A poll last month found 77 percent of voters favor legislation mandating that children who survive failed abortions are given the same medical treatment prematurely born babies, and 62 percent opposed legislation allowing late-term abortions up to the point of labor.

In late January, Democrats in the Virginia state legislature tried to pass legislation allowing abortions through the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, up to the moment immediately before birth. Commenting on the bill, Northam suggested in a case where the baby is born, it "would be kept comfortable" and "resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."

Attitudes on abortion have shifted dramatically over the past couple months, according to a Marist survey. In February, 47 percent of Americans said they identify as pro-life and the same percentage called themselves pro-choice. A month prior, 55 percent said they were pro-choice and 38 percent considered themselves pro-life. Democrats had a 28 percent shift towards the pro-life position in the February survey, and many young Americans similarly shifted to calling themselves pro-life.