DNC Rejects Bid to Include Pro-Life Democrats in Abortion Plank
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/16/12 1:54 PM
The Democratic National Committee has officially rejected an effort by pro-life Democrats to get the party to include them in its platform that calls for keeping unlimited abortions legal and paid for at taxpayer expense.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, says the platform panel refuses to acknowledge any difference of opinion on abortion within the Democratic Party.
“For the good of the Democratic Party, we will continue to advocate that the platform language should reflect the true diversity of views within the Democratic Party,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America. “Our message is simple: If you are pro-life and a Democrat, you can make a difference, thus the case for recognition. Inclusion can make a critical difference in this fall’s election.”
“If we are going to increase our members and win the majority, we must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the issue of abortion,” said Day.
According to Day, almost one-third of all Democrats self-identify as pro-life. In the 2008 Election, about one-quarter of Obama’s supporters self-identified as pro-life.
“These numbers are not trivial; they exceed many prominent and well-represented constituencies in the party. Electoral success for the party nationwide will depend on the enthusiasm of all Democrats, including pro-life Democrats,” DFLA said.
Pro-abortion activist Nancy Keenan and Barney Frank, the longtime pro-abortion member of Congress from Massachusetts are two of the members of the Democratic Party’s platform committee. The platform committee chair is former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, an abortion advocate who was opposed by pro-life advocates in his state. Committee members include pro-abortion former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho, pro-abortion Rep. Barbara Lee, and pro-abortion former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, among others.
Keenan, Frank and the other abortion advocates join Planned Parenthood consultant Andy Grossman, who was named as the National Platform Director for the Democratic National Convention’s platform panel. Grossman is head of Grossman Solutions, a political consulting firm that the nation’s biggest abortion business has hired as a strategist for its political operations.
In contrast, the Republican Party recently announced pro-life Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will head the GOP platform committee that will draft the new party platform when Republicans from across the country gather for the national convention later this summer.
The 2008 GOP platform contains strong pro-life statements of position on abortion.
“Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the final GOP platform said. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children,” it added.
The proposed platform language DFLA suggested read:
“We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.
However, we can find common ground. We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies. We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support. We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term.”
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According to DFLA, in 1978, the Democratic Party has seen the number of pro-life Democrats shrink over the years.
“In 1978, the Democratic Party, held a 292-seat majority in the U.S. House, with 125 pro-life Democrats. Increased partisanship over the pro-life issue—including the rejection of pro-life candidates within the Democratic Party—caused many of the pro-life Democratic districts to elect Republican candidates. In fact, the number of pro-choice Democrats in the House has essentially remained around 167. It is the number of pro-life Democrats that decreased from 125 to only 17, leaving Democrats overall with only 184 Members,” it said.
Despite the rejection, DFLA, at the Democratic National Convention, intends to showcase pro-life Democratic leaders in the political, academic and religious fields who have stood up for pro-life values. The event will be held Tuesday, September 4 at the Crowne Plaza Charlotte.