Op-Ed: Sen. Rick Scott

I have a simple question for Democrats: When do you believe life begins?

The Republican position on abortion is based on a fundamental belief that life begins at conception. It’s a conclusion grounded in faith and values, but also in science.

We know that unborn babies can feel pain very early. We know that after six weeks a baby’s heartbeat can be heard in the womb. Modern sonograms show unborn babies smiling, yawning and sucking their thumbs.

Put simply, science has revealed that an unborn baby is a human being, and voters agree. According to recent polling conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, 73% of voters agree that an unborn baby is a human being.

So that raises the question: When do Democrats believe life begins? At conception? At viability? At birth? After birth? They won’t say. Even more disconcerting, reporters won’t ask them. It’s a dereliction of duty by the mainstream media not to push the question, and it’s an abdication of their responsibility to inform the American people and spur legitimate debate.

Since the leaked draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Democrats have come out as the abortion extremists we’ve always known they are. They’ve staked out a position that is simply outside the mainstream of where average American voters are.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidates in swing states such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin embraced legalizing abortion up until the moment of birth. Some, such as Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, are refusing to say if there should be any restrictions on abortion whatever.

In response to the leaked Supreme Court opinion, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced plans to move forward on yet another vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would legalize abortion up until the moment of birth.

Since taking majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats have also rejected the longstanding bipartisan tradition of including the Hyde and Helms amendments in spending bills, which prevent taxpayer funding of abortions, including abortions overseas.

All of these positions are well outside the mainstream of where American voters are. According to recent National Republican Senatorial Committee polling, 65% of Americans agree that taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to pay for abortions, while only 30% disagree. Only 30% of Americans agree that abortion should be legal any time, on demand and without apology, while 61% of voters disagree.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans would be less likely to support abortion laws if the U.S. allows for abortion to be performed for any reason up until the moment of birth, which is the new Democratic Party line.

Meanwhile, Republicans are happy to answer the question of when life begins: We believe life begins at conception because we believe in science and place value in every life, born and unborn.

Once Democrats have an answer, we can have a legitimate debate on the issue.

Mr. Scott, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Florida.   back...