Veteran journalist: Neither party speaking for majority of Americans on abortion

RealClearPolitics's Washington bureau chief Carl Cannon said Wednesday that neither the Republican nor Democratic Party speaks for the majority of Americans on abortion.

"Neither party really speaks for the vast majority of Americans on this one issue," Cannon told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on "Rising." 

"The Republican platform every four years is 'abortion is the taking of a human life, no exceptions for anything, and federal judges should be appointed to agree with this view.' That's their view," he continued. "The Democratic view now, taking their cue from NARAL, is no, it's a decision strictly between a woman and her doctor. It's nobody's business at all. It's no more utility to the state than getting your wisdom teeth removed."

"These are two views that by definition are, I wouldn't say extreme, but they're pretty absolute," he said. 

The comment comes after the Alabama Senate passed legislation that would ban almost all abortions, including in the cases of rape and incest. 

The bill now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey's (R) to be signed into law. 

The passage is part of a growing trend in abortion legislation in the U.S., with 16 states passing or considering abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy. Supporters of the Alabama legislation hope it will trigger a Supreme Court battle over Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 

A new Hill-HarrisX survey found that 45 percent of respondents said banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy was "too restrictive," while 21 percent said the ban was "too lenient" and another 34 percent said it was "just right." 

"They think it's a difficult issue. They don't understand how politicians can pretend that there's not compelling arguments on both sides," Cannon said. "The polling on this reflects the innate wisdom of the American people, and the problem when you let special interests drive politics."

— Julia Manchester