Politics

Despite pro-abortion voting record, activists angry over Clinton VP pick Tim Kaine

Photo by joelrivlin (Flickr.com)

This week, Hillary Clinton announced that she had chosen Tim Kaine as her running mate. The choice was immediately cheered by the abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Kaine once considered himself to be a pro-life Democrat, but has since done a 180 on the issue. And while he still claims to be “personally opposed” to abortion, he has a 100% voting record with NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

Apparently, for pro-abortion extremists, that isn’t good enough.

While the abortion industry has applauded Clinton’s choice, activists have expressed skepticism and outright anger.

At Slate, Nora Caplan-Bricker wrote that the Kaine pick was “testing feminists’ loyalty,” writing, “He’s also, at least in his personal views, opposed to abortion due to his Catholic faith—a symbolic kick in the teeth for the feminist organizations that faithfully championed Hillary over Bernie throughout the long primary season.” She continued on, slamming Kaine for his efforts to reduce the number of abortions performed in Virginia by promoting adoption:

In 2005, he ran for governor on promises to promote adoption, reduce abortion, and support the farce that is abstinence-only sex education. While in office, he backed a so-called partial birth abortion ban, which prohibits a certain method of mid- and late-term abortion, though he supported exceptions in cases where a woman’s health was endangered. He also supported a parental consent law that requires minors to get a parent’s signoff before obtaining an abortion—and though that law theoretically includes a “judicial bypass” option, teens are often prevented from using it by misinformation, as the Huffington Post has reported.

Vox called Kaine’s personal opposition to abortion “frustrating,” questioning whether or not he could be trusted due to the fact that Kaine has supported some restrictions on abortion in the past:

Kaine’s selection presents a dilemma for pro-choice advocates. Is his evolution on choice genuine? How much of a problem do his previous positions really present? Is his current stance strong enough in an era when the pro-life movement is arguably winning the abortion wars?

In recent years, pro-choice advocates have pushed to fight the stigma against abortion in order to protect it as a fundamental right. They say that about one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime, and many people don’t realize that abortion is a safe, routine medical procedure. Abortion should be treated like the normal medical care it is, advocates say, not separated out and turned into a political football.

Bustle claimed Kaine’s position on abortion was “complicated,” praising him for his strong support of Roe v. Wade, but criticizing him for supporting restrictions on abortion:

Where Kaine receives the most criticism is not on his traditional Catholic values, but his past support of parental consent and informed consent laws for teenage girls and women undergoing abortions. In 2008, Kaine told ABC News that he advocated for informed consent laws that provide “women information about a whole series of things, the health consequences, et cetera, and information about adoption.”

While Kaine doesn’t want to criminalize abortion — or restrict it to the point that it’s inaccessible — he has approved policies that do make abortion more stressful, time-consuming, and possibly prohibitive to teenagers and women.

Ally Boguhn at Rewire, formerly RH Reality Check, also criticized Kaine for his efforts to reduce abortions:

As Rewire has previously reported, though Kaine may have a 100 percent rating for his time in the Senate from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the campaign website for his 2005 run for governor of Virginia promised he would “work in good faith to reduce abortions” by enforcing Virginia’s “restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother.”

As governor, Kaine did support some existing restrictions on abortion, including Virginia’s parental consent law and a so-called informed consent law. He also signed a 2009 measure that created “Choose Life” license plates in the state, and gave a percentage of the proceeds to a crisis pregnancy network.

While NARAL Pro-Choice America applauded Clinton’s decision to choose Kaine, the Virginia chapter of NARAL refused to comment on Kaine, only putting out a statement reiterating their endorsement of Clinton herself.

Activists also spoke up on Twitter, including Renee Bracey Sherman, member of NARAL’S Board of Directors:

The hashtag #NotKaine is still getting results on Twitter from angry pro-abortion Democrats.

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The reaction from pro-abortion activists to Kaine’s pick says much more about them than it does about Kaine. Kaine supports abortion. His record, according to NARAL and Planned Parenthood, is stellar… and it’s still not good enough. Why? Because Kaine is personally pro-life. Because Kaine supports some restrictions on abortion. That is how extreme the abortion lobby has become. The majority of Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong, like Kaine does. The majority of Americans also support restrictions on abortion. But these abortion advocates demand complete and utter fealty to abortion.

There is nothing wrong with wanting there to be fewer abortions, but for pro-abortion extremists, it’s absolutely unacceptable. They don’t just want abortion to be safe and legal. They want it to be widespread, celebrated. The furor, confusion, and criticism over Kaine’s position on abortion shows just how extreme and fanatical the abortion movement has become.

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