"I can't speak to Gov. Romney's motivations," Obama said. "What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about."
But when it comes to abortion (which the DNC has said will be a spotlight in their coming conventions) who really holds the extreme views? Not the party that the Democrats would have you believe.....
Pollsters have been asking Americans for decades whether and under what circumstances they think abortion should be restricted. Only about 1 in 5 respondents ever say that abortion should always be illegal. When asked directly whether abortion should be permitted if a pregnancy results from rape or incest, huge majorities – usually around 75 percent – say yes.
Moreover, only a minority of Americans favors amending the Constitution to end legalized abortion or overturn Roe v. Wade. In poll after poll, about 6 in 10 Americans express support for Roe. A GOP platform that endorses a human life amendment conferring on the unborn "a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed" – essentially a call to ban abortion, period – thus embraces a position that significant majorities of the public do indeed reject.
So Republicans are the extremists on abortion? Not so fast.
If you're like most Americans, you believe that abortion is morally wrong. You oppose abortion on demand. You think abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances. Even then you favor restrictions on its use, including 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent in the case of a minor, and requiring a married woman to notify her husband before she gets an abortion. You want late-term abortions to be prohibited, and you reject using public funds to pay for any abortions. (These are all majority opinions, reflected in numerous polls. A broad compilation of decades of polling data, "Attitudes About Abortion," is updated regularly by Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute.)
Does the Democratic Party uphold these mainstream positions? On the contrary: It rejects every one of them.
Though one-third of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life, the Democratic Party platform is strident in its defense of abortion on demand. The party "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade," the platform avows, and abortion must be made available "regardless of ability to pay" -- that is, at public expense. The 2012 platform, in language recycled from 2008, vows to "oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine" the availability of abortion. While solid majorities of Democrats back some limitations on abortion -- 59 percent would ban partial-birth abortions, for example, and 60 percent endorse a mandatory waiting period -- the official position of their party is that even common-sense restrictions are unthinkable.
In 2000, the Democratic platform said the party's goal was "to make abortion less necessary and more rare." The 2004 platform declared, "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." But even calling for abortion to be "rare" is now too much for the Democrats' platform committee, which deleted the word in 2008. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is a committee member. Or that the president of Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion provider, will address the Democratic convention in North Carolina next week. That convention will renominate President Obama, who is so hardline in defense of "choice" that he even opposed a ban on sex-selection abortions.
Emphasis again mine. All that said, that is not even the most extreme (according to polls). THE MOST EXTREME view is held by none other than President Obama (as Gary points out in his post).
Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn't bat an eyelash. In fact, he did.
In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act" three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care...
...He opposed a partial-birth abortion bill in Illinois, even as the federal version passed the House and the Senate easily and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. He arrived in the U.S. Senate in time to denounce the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the ban....
...In May, a bipartisan majority of the House, including 20 Democrats, voted to ban abortion for the purpose of sex selection. A White House spokeswoman objected: "The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way." In other words, gender-based discrimination is OK -- so long as it results in an abortion.
Poll after poll after poll shows that the very stand that President Obama takes on abortion is antithetical to the mainstream of America.
So the next time you hear people talking about the "extreme" on abortion, realize that - while both sides DO have their extremists - the really extreme abortion positions are held, not by Mitt Romney or John Boehner but by Barack Obama,