Pro-Life Democrats Concerned About Removal of Abortion Tolerance Plank
by Steven Ertelt
July 23, 2004
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life Democrats are concerned that the Democratic Party’s proposed platform has removed a tolerance plank from its position on abortion that acknowledges many Democrats disagree with the party on the controversial issue.
"The Democratic Party is a party of inclusion. We respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue, and we welcome all our members to participate at every level of our party," the 2000 platform read.
That statement and a long paragraph respecting the right of Democrats to disagree on abortion is stricken from the 2004 platform proposal.
Adding insult to injury for pro-life Democrats, the proposed party platform says, "We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine [abortion rights]."
"The platform committee has confused pro-life Democrats across America. We are proudly pro-life and proud Democrats," says Kristen Day, director of Democrats for Life of America, in response.
"But, given we are 100 percent committed to protecting the rights of the unborn, are we now considered Republicans in the eyes of the platform committee? Surely this sentence is an oversight of the committee’s part," Day explained.
Day said her group hopes the Democratic Party’s platform committee will revise the abortion plank’s wording prior to next week’s convention in Boston.
To underscore their position in the party, as some 43 percent of Democrats oppose abortion according to a January 2004 Zogby poll, members of Democrats for Life of America plan a rally outside the Boston convention.
"We are dedicated Democrats who are tired of standing outside the big tent," DFLA executive director Kristen Day said.
"The current Democratic platform supporting abortion on demand, an unrestricted ‘right to chose,’ is going to be our party’s ‘right to lose,’" Day added.
Pro-life Democrats are also unhappy that only one of 61 announced speakers is pro-life on abortion and that person, Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, plans to speak in favor of embryonic stem cell research — something the pro-life community strongly opposes.