As a proud American who votes as a political “independent,” I’m left wanting in the choice of presidential candidates, watching with eager anticipation as the two political parties develop platforms on policy issues and what issues the candidates will focus on during their upcoming conventions and the campaign in the fall

The issue many Americans consider most critical is the protection and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

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Considering the plethora of injustices and difficulties in our country today, the disregard for human life seems to be at an all-time high.  Yes, all lives matter and respect for human life and cherishing those around us begins with the most vulnerable in our society.   When a society disregards life to the extent that more than 57 million Americans have been denied the very right to life because of abortion over the last 43 years, there is unfortunately, a sense that life really doesn’t matter.  Anyone concerned about social justice can rightly understands that abortion is the single most important human rights issue of today.

Yet the Democrats, sometimes considered the “social justice party” sadly have become the “abortion party”. In the 1990s, Democrats and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonRahm Emanuel: 'Panic would be the adjective to describe the mood' over Sanders Do Trump and Sanders hate America? Ex-CIA chief calls Trump intel shakeup a 'virtual decapitation' of the intelligence community MORE, in particular, were known for supporting abortion as “safe, legal and rare.” Even as late as 2008, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 The Hill's Campaign Report: High stakes at last Democratic debate before Super Tuesday MORE shared this sentiment. Their 2016 platform calls for unlimited abortion on demand and without apology.  Based on the elation over the Texas decision at the supreme court two weeks ago, pro-abortion forces no longer care if it is “safe” for women, they simply want it legal at all times and in all circumstances.

However, this unrestricted stance is not reflective of mainstream America, which strongly favors abortion restrictions; a Marist poll from January reveals that 81% of Americans would limit abortion to the first three months, including 69% who self-identify as pro-choice. Also out of touch with public opinion is the concept that abortion should be unapologetic, or not a rarity. That same Marist poll revealed that 55% of Americans think abortion does more harm than good to a woman in the long-run including 27% who identify as pro-choice.

Additionally, in the backlash following the Planned Parenthood undercover sting videos released last summer (and the many states that enacted defunding laws thereafter), the Democratic platform is calling for protection for the nation’s largest abortion provider.  The Democrats have placed at the top of their priorities defending the organization that performs the most abortions in America, over 300,000 every year. Tellingly, after becoming the official nominee, the Democratic candidate’s first speaking engagement was at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. And in 2012, while Pro-life Democrats were refused speaking slots, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, was a keynote speaker at the Democratic convention, touting the party’s extreme position on life.  She also took a leave of absence from her day job for all of 2012 to campaign for pro-abortion candidates.

Planned Parenthood benefits greatly from having a pro-abortion Administration; the organization currently receives approximately $1.4 million of taxpayer funding a day. During the Obama Administration in 2011, the organization received $528,400,000, million or 41%, of its revenue from government funding. The financially beneficial relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Democrats who protect the organization is scandalous.

And while its 501(c)3 receives millions from the government, Planned Parenthood Action spends millions to elect pro-abortion candidates. In 2012, it promised to spend $18 million on the election. 

But perhaps most surprisingly, the Democratic Party is calling for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding regulation that prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion except in limited cases such as rape and incest.  The Hyde amendment is strongly favorable with the American people; 68% of Americans, including 69% of women and 51% of pro-choice supporters, oppose the use of public funds for abortion. And even many pro-choice Democrats are in favor of Hyde as well, including Democratic vice presidential running mate Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE. Pro-life Democrat Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way MORE from West Virginia had this to say when told of the Hyde platform plans, “That’s crazy. It’s something that I know most of the Democrats in West Virginia and most West Virginians would not agree with. I don’t either.” Despite this, the Democratic Committee is intent upon the inclusion of repealing the Hyde Amendment, as this would open up the floodgates of the availability of abortion.

In contrast, the Republican Party Platform is becoming more protective of the inherent dignity of the human person. Included in this year’s platform is a commitment to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court; a promise to pass and sign into law a fetal pain bill making most late-term abortions illegal; and a pledge to protect conscience rights of people opposed to abortion but being forced by the government to participate.  It also includes language committed to defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider.  

So for pro-life Americans, the choice is becoming clear. The lack of awe, respect, reverence and love for the gift of life that is so prevalent in the 2016 Democratic platform is not only out of touch with most Americans – pro-life or pro-choice - but it may well cost them the election.


Jeanne Mancini is president of the March for Life.