Rhode Island Pro-Life Democrat Leaves Race After Abortion Debate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 1
, 2005

Providence, RI (LifeNews.com) — Jim Langevin’s candidacy would have made him an anomaly in Washington. The Democratic Congressman opposes abortion and had he ran an defeated a pro-abortion Republican incumbent, he would have been only the second Democrat in the U.S. Senate who takes a pro-life position on it.

However, abortion advocates mounted a high profile opposition campaign as soon as Langevin announced he was considering the race.

Although he didn’t cite the abortion issue, Langevin has pulled out of the potential contest against Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has recruited Langevin and pro-life Pennsylvania state Treasurer Bob Casey to run for the Senate in that state. Officials from the DSCC even tried to persuade pro-abortion Secretary of State Matt Brown to exit the race, clearing the field for Langevin.

The move caused an outcry from pro-abortion Democrats, who still control the party by and large. They spoke up against his candidacy and began fundraising for Brown.

"It is a problem when leading Democrats publicly recruit candidates who do not share the core values of the party," former NARAL president Kate Michaelman told MSNBC. "I don’t think you ever win in the long term by sacrificing core principles. The right wing has never done that."

Equating pro-life advocates with racists, Michaelman asked, "Can you imagine recruiting people to run for the Senate with a record of opposition to affirmative action or to Brown v. Board of Education?"

A key issue for abortion advocates is the nomination of pro-life judges for top posts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Langevin said he would not abide by the same pro-abortion filter most Senate Democrats use to oppose President Bush’s nominees.

"I am not applying any litmus test on any issue. I would base my vote on a nominee’s entire record," he said.

Abortion advocates in the party used that statement to rally support against Langevin.