As presidential candidates converge on central Ohio for the next Democratic debate on October 15, Ohioans should make note of the candidates’ extreme abortion policies.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has already called for the inclusion of abortion as a topic for debate, and it should be.
But instead of softball questions that allow the candidates to bury the hard reality of the subject in glowing euphemisms, they should be presented with some of the horrific stories that have made headlines this year. And they should have to account for why they believe fewer protections for unborn babies is a moral, progressive value in the 21st century.
A few short weeks ago, the story broke of a sickening discovery in a former Indiana abortionist’s home garage: Boxes upon boxes of the preserved bodies of unborn, aborted children.
Boxes of so many human children that, once counted, amounted to more than 2,200 fetal remains. And still more are being discovered.
The abortionist, Ulrich “George” Klopfer, died just before the discovery. The county sheriff’s office began an investigation, using cadaver dogs to search the shuttered abortion facilities where Klopfer once practiced. Local authorities have committed to ensuring “proper burial” of all of the remains.
And yet, consider the irony that in a country where taking the lives of these innocent children is considered perfectly legal, these children are not otherwise seen as human beings who endured human deaths and deserved human burials.
It is instead termed a “right;” it is instead deemed a “women’s issue” by a multi-million dollar lobby and industry, as well as scores of politicians. Which is awfully difficult to reconcile with a grisly story like Klopfer’s.
Consider the response of pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana where Klopfer practiced. After several days of silence on the matter, he admitted the “disturbing” nature of the revelation and also struggled to defend abortion-on demand.
“Like everyone, I find that news out of Illinois extremely disturbing, and I think it’s important that that be fully investigated,” Buttigieg said. “I also hope it doesn’t get caught up in politics at a time when women need access to health care. There’s no question that what happened is disturbing. It’s unacceptable. And it needs to be looked into fully.”
Buttigieg is right: This story is disturbing and unacceptable. But how could we possibly ignore the politics of the situation?
Certainly, the politics are inconvenient for both Buttigieg and the Democratic Party, which has been demanding more and more extreme abortion policies in recent years. This year alone started off with story after story of states rushing to legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.
In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Reproductive Health Act” into law, legalizing abortion for practically any reason through the third trimester of pregnancy and up to birth. The law even removed protections for unborn babies killed in an act of homicide. States from Virginia to Rhode Island to New Mexico to Illinois entertained similar measures. Virginia Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran, in proposing Virginia’s (ultimately failed) measure to expand late term abortion, said a baby at term, with the mother potentially in labor, could be aborted with no explanation as to what might necessitate such a travesty.
Is this extreme direction the way of the Democratic Party? And how can any of the presidential candidates expect to lead an already divided country with even more divisive policies?
Recent Gallup polling has found that only 13 percent of Americans would support making third trimester abortions “generally” legal, and only 18 percent of Democrats agreed with that position. Other public opinion polls have consistently shown that women favor restrictions on late term abortions at a higher percentage than men. Not only is the Democratic party overplaying their hand on abortion in the name of “women’s rights,” but they continue to betray the 21 million pro-life Democrats here in the U.S.
How can a party that claims to stand for inclusion and tolerance cast these compassionate, earnest voices to the side? How can a party that claims to stand for the vulnerable champion such extreme policies that take human life, rather than preserve it?
These are the questions the Democratic candidates should face, and if any of them are worth their salt, they will defy the powers that be within their party, defend pro-life voices, and most importantly, defend the lives of the innocent.
Stephanie Ranade Krider is Vice President and Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life
She most recently served as the director of policy and legislative affairs for previous Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, and has also served in the roles of executive director and legislative director for Ohio Right to Life, advocating for pro-life policy in the state legislature and working closely with the forty-plus active local chapters across the state.
Stephanie has a passion for seeing and promoting justice, specifically the ways in which even imperfect institutions like government, non-profits, and the Church can serve “the least of these.” She returned to Ohio Right to Life in 2019 armed with ideas and plans to empower mothers living in poverty to access opportunity for economic stability and prosperity for themselves and their children, born and unborn.
Stephanie and her husband Jeff reside in Columbus with their three daughters and their dog, Roxie. You won’t hear her complain about the noise in their very busy household, but you probably won’t ever hear her complain about the quiet, either.