NRL News

Follow up thoughts on the exclusion of pro-lifers from the Democratic Party

by | Apr 25, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

So what’s different about DNC chairman Tom Perez’s fiery declaration that there is no room for a pro-life candidate in the Democratic Party? Hasn’t the party been, at best, non-supportive of pro-life candidates, and, at worst (and most often) hostile?

Yes, but you’re not suppose to say that so unequivocally. You’re suppose to say sort of what Perez did as part of (get this) the party’s Unity Tour before NARAL went ballistic: “Our job at the DNC is to help Democrats who have garnered support from voters in their community cross the finish line and win ― from school board to Senate.”

But once Independent Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders/Perez gave their imprimatur to Heath Mello (who supported some pro-life legislation when he was a member of the legislature) in a race to be the mayor of Omaha, NARAL angrily responded: “The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women — one of the most critical constituencies for the party — of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid.”

Of course, the political stupidity is in folding like a cheap suit when NARAL throws a fit. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), when asked by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, “Can you be a Democrat and [receive] the support of the Democratic Party if you’re pro-life?” responded, “Of course. I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive – my family would say aggressive – position on promoting a woman’s right to choose.”

Case close, right? Not at all. That interview was last Sunday. On the same day, on a different program–CNN’s State of the Union–pro-abortion Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) was asked bluntly, “Are you with NARAL or Sen. Sanders?”

Durbin is the Democrats’ Senate Whip, second in rank only to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, so his opinion carries weight. (The underlines are mine to mark where Durbin was emphatic.)

Listen, I am committed to women’s rights under the law, reproductive rights certainly, and our party is [committed]. We’ve made that part of our platform and position for a long, long time. I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal. We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience, but as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe versus Wade, prepared to back women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party.

In other words, you can mouth some pro-life platitudes but you can “be part of the party” only if you hew absolutely to the party’s position on “women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law”–abortion on demand without exception and without apology.

Two other quick thoughts about “politics.”

First, as NRLC pointed out, a November 2016 poll conducted by The Polling Company for National Right to Life found that 20% of Democrats self-identified as pro-life. The same poll also found just 20% of Democrats supported their party’s current position of unrestricted abortion for any reason, while 22% support limiting abortion to cases of rape or incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Second, as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru observed, a post-election Marist poll taken for the Knights of Columbus showed a similar percentage of Democrats who would support abortion only in cases of rape, incest, and threats to the mother’s life.

An additional 24 percent of Democrats think abortion should be available only within the first three months of pregnancy. That’s a majority of Democratic voters with views to the right of the ones that have gotten Mello into trouble.

Can’t wait to hear from the couple of Senate Democrats who tout themselves as “pro-life.”

Categories: Abortion Politics