Dems’ Strategy: Winning Over Pro-Abortion Republicans

by David Nussman  •  •  July 3, 2018   

Liberals scrambling to save Roe v. Wade, calling on pro-abortion Republicans for help

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WASHINGTON ( - As President Donald Trump prepares to pick his Supreme Court nominee, Democrats are desperate to protect abortion.

Pro-abortion Democrats are worried about the possibility that Trump's replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy will be a pro-lifer who helps overturn Roe v. Wade. Democrats are mongering fear over so-called abortion rights to rally resistance against Trump's yet-to-be-announced nominee.

There are two pro-abortion Republicans in the Senate, both female and both nominal Catholics — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. In January, Collins and Murkowski voted against a bill that would have banned late-term abortions in most circumstances.

The GOP has a slight advantage over the Democrats in the Senate, with 51 out of 100 seats.

The Democrats' twofold strategy now is to make sure all the Democrat senators (including the two leftist, Democrat-caucusing independents) are on board with opposing Trump's nominee, and to get the two pro-abortion Republicans to join them. If Collins and Murkowski join the Democrats in voting against Trump's nomination, that would be a 49–51 loss for Trump — and a pro-abortion victory by a simple majority in the Senate.

Trump has said that his nominee will come from a list of 25 potential candidates published by the White House. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a press conference, "Every one of the nominees on that list has been screened to meet the litmus test that the president himself has articulated again and again and again, saying he will appoint only someone who will automatically overturn Roe v. Wade."

Alongside abortion, single-payer health care is another talking point being used to push for opposition to Trump's pick. Oftentimes, the issue of free health care is paired with abortion.

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For example, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an opinion piece for The New York Times, "Perhaps the most consequential issues at stake in this Supreme Court vacancy are affordable health care and a woman's freedom to make the most sensitive medical decisions about her body."

Schumer's phrase about women's "sensitive medical decisions" is a reference to abortion.

The three Senate Democrats who voted in favor of Trump's appointee, Neil Gorsuch, have not confirmed that they will support the president's nominee this time around.

Senators Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN) and Joe Manchin (WV) were the only Democrats who voted in favor of Gorsuch in April 2017, but it seems less likely they will support the president this time around.

Manchin, for instance, warns about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade. He told a West Virginian radio station, "All that stuff is red flags for all Americans."

He added, "Roe v. Wade has been the law for 40-something years."

Furthermore, Trump has warned that Heitkamp will likely oppose the upcoming Supreme Court nominee, in keeping with her party's stance.

Some Democrats are saying the Supreme Court nomination should be delayed till January 2019 when a new Congress takes office — thus giving the Democrats a chance to boost their numbers in the Senate. However, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, most Americans want Kennedy's replacement to be appointed as soon as possible.

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