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Setting aside morality, Democrats' abortion extremism is bad politics

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It's not healthy for America that one of its two major political parties has made the destruction of human life its only non-negotiable principle. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In a nationally televised interview recently, a Democratic candidate for high office was asked whether he could support restrictions on abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy that Congress is considering.

He replied that he could not.

"I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body," he said. "I'm not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman's right and her freedom to choose." But he added: "I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I'm going to be there for that child."

The candidate outlining this unscientific life-begins-at-birth abortion extremism was not a Massachusetts or Seattle liberal trying to shore up his left-wing flank in a primary. Rather, it was Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Alabama.

His answer demonstrates that despite Republican travails, Democrats are in deep trouble. The party has become so intolerant on the issue of abortion that no one running for election as a Democrat — certainly no challenger — dares to admit to any nuance or moral gray area on the subject of extinguishing innocent, vulnerable, new human life.

On Monday night, the House voted 237-189 for the bill restricting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed, but it is still doomed. Only three House Democrats were willing to back it. And in the Senate there won't be more than one or possibly two. So the 20-week abortion bill, which is both reasonable and widely supported by the public, cannot reach the 60-vote supermajority required to overcome a filibuster.

The blockading of this bill is no aberration. Democrats have become more extreme and increasingly hostile toward any compromise on abortion in recent years.

In 2016, for what appears to be the first time ever, the Democrats' presidential candidate ran on a platform of funding elective abortions with taxpayer money. Democrat-controlled states are trying to ban the sale of health insurance that doesn't cover the entire cost of abortion. Oregon has already passed such a law.

Leading voices in the party, including that of Hillary Clinton, continue to call out for more and stronger litmus tests on abortion for anyone trying to run for office as a Democrat. The party's chairman, Tom Perez, made an example earlier this year of a Democrat who had dared to vote according to his conscience on abortion while serving in Nebraska's state legislature, publicly disowning him and encouraging donors to cut off support. As if Nebraska's state Democratic Party wasn't weak enough already, Perez sabotage probably crippled it for the next decade or so.

Democrats pretend to be pro-choice rather than pro-abortion. Their support for choice is really the same choice someone gets when made an offer they can't refuse. Democrats chide pro-lifers, alleging that they don't do enough for young mothers and children facing difficult or unwanted pregnancies. But even as they say this out of one side of their mouth, they argue to shut down the crisis pregnancy and mothers' care centers that provide that help.

Abortion vaporizes Democrats' political savvy. It has cost them a lot of support, and they continue to learn nothing in defeat. It's not healthy for America that one of its two major political parties has made the destruction of human life its only non-negotiable principle.