by Steven Ertelt
January 3, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As leaders of the Democratic Party wrestle with how to appeal to millions of pro-life voters who have abandoned its candidates over the issue of abortion, officials with the left-wing Green Party say they stand to benefit if Democrats compromise on abortion.
After pro-abortion presidential candidate John Kerry lost the 2004 election, in part because of his extreme abortion views, Democrats have been waging an internal battle on whether to reach out to pro-life Democrats who have turned to Republican candidates.
While leaders of key abortion advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL warn against a compromise and will defend the party’s long-standing pro-abortion views, Green Party officials say any change helps them.
Morgen D’Arc, of the women’s caucus of the Green Party, says Democrats who talk about reaching out to pro-life advocates are banking on pro-abortion Democrats not looking elsewhere for candidates to support.
"The Democratic Party is counting on the belief of many of its members that they have nowhere else to go," D’Arc said Monday.
"Greens appeal to women’s organizations and the multitudes of women and men who care: support the Green Party and our candidates," D’Arc said in an effort to gain new party members.
D’Arc said the Green Party was "committed to the rights and concerns of women" and those pro-abortion Americans who "believe in a woman’s right to control her own body and her right to a safe and legal abortion."
As evidence of possible compromise, the party pointed to pro-life former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer, who is weighing a bid for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party.
Roemer is being supported in his effort by the top two Congressional Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Sensing a disconnect between the party’s extreme views on abortion and the pro-life views of voters in states he lost, Kerry surprised party activists in November by telling them that Democrats should moderate their abortion stance.
Roemer, who compiled a strong pro-life voting record and served as a member of the 9/11 commission, has also pointed out the divide in interviews and communications with party leaders.
Even Simon Rosenberg, the president of the New Democratic Network, and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, both candidates for the DNC chairmanship, have said there is a need to reach out to pro-life Democrats.
The Green Party reached its zenith nationally with the 2000 presidential candidacy of consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Many leading Democrats accused Nader, who backs abortion, of denying Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore the victory, especially in the state of Florida, where a post-election chaos ensued.
Nader waged an independent bid in 2004 and the Green Party received significantly fewer votes as a result.
Democrat Party leaders will vote in February on a new chairman.