Pro-Life Democrats Keep Fighting Despite Presidential Candidates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Democrats Keep Fighting Despite Presidential Candidates

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 26, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life Democrats always seem to be fighting an uphill battle. That all of the Democratic presidential candidates are pro-abortion — including one, Dennis Kucinich, who flip-flopped on abortion shortly before declaring his candidacy — only makes matters worse.

But that hasn’t stopped Democrats for Life of America from being a pro-life voice in the wilderness and rallying pro-life party faithful to keep up the good fight.

Representatives of the pro-life group took to the streets last week to participate in the March for Life and then they held their own rally to encourage each other.

"Our message is clear," explains Kristen Day, director of Democrats for Life. "We want people to know that there are pro-life Democrats and we want pro-life Democrats to know that they don’t have to be silent anymore."

Day’s group is working to expand its reach and develop local organizations that can mobilize pro-life Democrats on the state and county level. Some twenty-seven states currently either have state chapters or forming chapters.

"And, we want to dispel the myth that only Republicans are pro-life," Day said.

She’s right. A recent poll found that forty-three percent of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life.

Despite that, Catholic League president William Donohue says pro-life Democrats continue to be "shunned — even mocked — by the Democratic National Committee."

The goal of Democrats for Life, Donohue says is to move the party in a pro-life direction and to help it become more tolerant of the pro-life perspective.

"In vain have they tried to get the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to provide a link on its website to their organization," Donohue explained. "But the DNC has no problem providing a link to a notoriously anti-Catholic group, Catholics for a Free Choice. The passion for abortion rights is so extreme in the Democratic Party that it will bond with bigots who share its position before ever working with decent men and women of their party who differ with them on this issue."

This has left pro-life Democrats "politically homeless," Donohue says.

Bill Samuel, of Maryland, attended the Democrats for Life luncheon and said he came away encouraged "with a number of other Democrats who share the pro-life conviction."

At the luncheon, Dr. James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab-American Institute, and a pro-life Democrat, addressed the organization. During the speech, Zogby, a member of the DNC’s executive committee, admitted publicly for the first time that he is pro-life.

Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and Ambassador to the Vatican, and Rep. Jim Oberstar, a Minnesota congressman and co-founder of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, also spoke to those gathered.

"So many politicians disappoint us, so it was very uplifting to hear from these political activists who are so principled and willing to suffer for their convictions," Samuel said. "All of them encouraged us to speak out and not to hide our pro-life convictions."