In the past, both Republican and Democratic candidates have talked about abortion. Sometimes Republicans might avoid the topic, but rarely did Democrats. The assumption a few decades ago was that pro-choice was a winning theme, while being pro-life sometimes seemed like a liability.
The two national political conventions reversed the perspective on abortion. The topic never was mentioned in the Democratic National Convention. Abortion and pro-life comments surfaced many times in the Republican National Convention. The convention even featured a lengthy speech by Abby Johnson, who is a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and now a pro-life activist who founded the group “And Then There Were None.”
In her speech she talked rather graphically about abortion because she recognized that most Americans “can’t even conceive of the barbarity.” In abortion clinics, they have to piece together the remains of babies. She even talked about the smell of abortion and asked, “Did you know abortion even had a smell?” Her speech went a long way in educating the American public.
The silence about abortion at the Democratic Convention may have something to do with recent polls. The current view expressed by Democratic leaders is that abortion must be legal through all nine months of pregnancy. Americans do not support such a view. While millions of Americans may believe that abortion should be legal, you can only find about 13 percent of Americans who support abortion through all nine months. And only about 18 percent of self-identified Democrats support such a view.
The Democratic platform and most leading Democratic leaders also call for taxpayer-support of abortion. That isn’t a popular view with most Americans. Nearly 80 percent oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, including about three-quarters of Democrats.