Along with giving the Sanders campaign 80% of what it wants, the national Democratic Party platform, as drafted last weekend, rejects the poor-shaming misogyny of the Hyde and Helms Amendments, which prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion services in Medicaid and foreign aid.
National NARAL Pro-Choice president Ilyse Hogue says the Democrats’ progressive platform better represents the views of a majority of Americans than the medievalism of the GOP:
I can only imagine the conversations going on about these issues in the GOP platform, where the GOP controlled Congress just voted to make access to birth control more difficult in the middle of a Zika crisis; where leaders in the party often call to prohibit abortion even in the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother; and where the presumptive nominee of their party has said that a woman who has an abortion should be punished and has pledged to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
If platforms are statements of collective values and a blueprint for candidates to follow once elected, the choice could not be more clear. The Democratic Party platform I will be voting for this weekend will include a commitment to reproductive freedom that represents the views of the majority of Americans and carries us into the future when every woman has access to her constitutional rights regardless of geography, income, or source of insurance and when we can expect public policy to support us and our families at every stage of our reproductive lives [Ilyse Hogue, “Why This Democratic Party Platform Is the Best Ever for Reproductive Freedom,” Morning Consult, 2016.07.08].
Oh, I think Hogue and NARAL get that:
We have to be very focused, not only on getting our champion into the White House, but on the down-ballot races, because the harm is coming disproportionately from state legislatures.
We’ve been doing a lot to hold incumbents accountable for the unbelievable amount of times they’ve tried to restrict access to abortion. Their constituents did not elect them to do that, especially at the expense of all the important business that has not gotten done. In both the federal election and for local and state races, we’re making sure voters have the information to hold their officials accountable.
This is a long-term project. We’ve got to make gains in 2016, and come 2020 and 2022, I think we’re going to start seeing some of these state legislatures really shifting on these issues [Ilyse Hogue, interview by Rachel M. Cohen, “Q&A: The Abortion Battle’s Next Phase,” The American Prospect, 2016.07.12].
Hogue and NARAL get it just like Bernie Sanders: real progress means winning far more than the Presidency. Electing a woman President matters, but President Clinton will need legislators in every state to back her up, to prevent passage of more bad abortion laws, and maybe even make some progress in rolling back restrictions like South Dakota’s insulting 72-hour-plus abortion waiting period. If we want to win the country, we have to win the states.