Will Democrats Welcome Pro-Life Candidates? DNC Chairman Won’t Say
Looks like DNC leadership is still too afraid of ruffling pro-choice feathers.
Will Democrats welcome pro-life candidates? That question came to the forefront once again Sunday during a segment on MSNBC.
As The Washington Free Beacon reported, host Kasie Hunt asked DNC chairman Tom Perez if there is “room for anti-abortion Democrats.” The question specifically referenced pro-life Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois. He’s currently fighting primary contender Marie Newman.
But Perez wouldn’t give a straight answer. He only acknowledged “there’s a very spirited debate in that particular race.” He also said the DNC didn’t get too involved in primaries to avoid the appearance of tipping the scale.
While Perez skirted the pro-life question Sunday, he’s been outspoken before.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said last year. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.” The statement came after he caught flak from pro-abortion groups for saying Democrats should not “demand fealty on every issue.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both said they welcome pro-lifers.
What the Votes Say
So Perez is tip-toeing around the issue. Leading Democratic politicians pay lip-service to pro-life inclusiveness. But their votes tell a different story.
Just last month a piece of pro-life legislation failed to pass the Senate. According to public opinion on the issue, it should have passed easily. A recent national poll found that 63 percent of Americans support banning abortion after 20 weeks.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would have done just that. Research shows that babies in-womb can start feeling pain at 20 weeks, or 5 months. The bill included exceptions for cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother.
But Senate Democrats refused to get on board. Forty-two Democrats voted against the bill and only three voted in favor. Their argument was that most abortions take place before 20 weeks.
Earlier in January, the House passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill requires abortionists to treat a baby born after a failed abortion the same as “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” It also requires them to admit the baby to a hospital right away.
This bill regarding the basic medical care of infants passed largely without the Democrats. Only five voted in favor of it.
Will Democrats Listen?
Many saw Senate Democrats’ failure to support the pain-capable act as extreme. Particularly since nearly half of millennials support a 20-week ban. As The Atlantic recently explored, scientific developments have had a significant impact on the abortion debate. They could be a big reason more young people lean pro-life.
I think 20 weeks is a fair marker as I discussed with @benshapiro. If that's too radical for Democrats then the party is truly the extreme party of the day. I say this as someone who is still pro-choice. https://t.co/4aAWLqDtOl
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) January 29, 2018
After the pain-capable bill failed to pass the Senate, David Brooks challenged Democrats in a New York Times column. “Roe v. Wade polarized American politics in ways that have been fundamentally bad for Democrats,” he wrote.
In the column, he pretended to be a Democratic consultant. He asked, “Do we want [late-term abortion] so much that we see our agendas on poverty, immigration, income equality and racial justice thwarted and defeated?”
Pro-lifers, including pro-life progressives, are eager to see if Democrats will accept such advice. For now, it seems as if they’re still too afraid of ruffling pro-choice feathers to welcome pro-lifers to the party.