Wednesday and Thursday night, the nation’s top Democratic presidential candidates battled it out in their party’s first primary debate of this election season. Over the two nights, the 20 candidates faced off on topics ranging from immigration to tax reform, but one issue the majority of the candidates seemed to agree on was taxpayer-funded abortion.
Julián Castro, former secretary of housing and urban development, endorsed a government-funded health-care plan that would cover abortions for everyone, including transgender individuals.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders blasted the Hyde Amendment—a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape—and promised that he will only appoint judges that are “100 percent” supportive of abortion.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand mentioned more than once how she will fight efforts to repeal Roe V. Wade.
Pro-life leaders immediately fired back.
“Not a single candidate, from Booker to Warren, speaks for the majority of Americans—including a strong majority of Independents and more than one-third of Democrats—who oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List president, said in a press release.
Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, pointed out that this year’s annual Marist Poll Survey showed how “out-of-step the Democratic presidential candidates are with both the American people, as well as their own party.”
“This is the most pro-abortion slate of candidates in recent history,” he said. “Every single candidate is in favor of forced taxpayer funding for abortion and would also eliminate all current pro-life protections.”
Live Action founder and president Lila Rose took to Twitter to express her frustration: “Democratic candidates are now trying to out-do each other in their support for abortion at any point in pregnancy and government-funded abortion.”
“Abortion politics are rapidly approaching a breaking point in our country …,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Times. “…with Democratic presidential hopefuls finding themselves on the wrong side of history and out-of-step with a vast majority of Americans regarding this contentious issue.”