Maryland Pro-Life Democrats Upset Party Boss Backed Morning After Pill Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maryland Pro-Life Democrats Upset Party Boss Backed Morning After Pill Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 22, 2006

Annapolis, MD ( — Pro-life Democrats in the Maryland state legislautre are upset that the head of the state Democratic party endorsed a measure that would give some pharmacists the ability to sell the morning after pill without a prescription.

State party chairman Terry Lierman appeared at a news conference last week to tout the measure.

"I have a problem with it. … I don’t think the party chairman should be in pushing this type of legislation," Sen. James DeGrange of Glen Burnie told The Gazette newspaper.

"I don’t like to see the party chairman out front like this,” Sen. Roy Dyson added. ‘‘There are a lot of pro-life Democrats. We’re trying to keep them in the fold.”

Even Senate President Thomas Mike Miller, who backs legal abortion, said the party’s chairman was out of bounds. He told The Gazette Lierman’s advocacy on the bill could hamper his party’s efforts to defeat Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich

Lierman defended his position, telling the newspaper, "I really feel strongly about this. Just because you’re the party chair, it doesn’t mean you have to be mute on an issue that is really important to you."

Isiah ‘‘Ike” Leggett, who was the party chair before Lierman disagreed and said that people in the state view the chairman as speaking for the party, even when taking a personal view.

"People are not going to make a difference between different roles,” he said. ‘‘If there are divisions within the party, then that creates some problems.”

The measure creates a training program for pharmacists who want to be able to dispense the drug without a prescription. The measure failed in the legislature last year because it drew the opposition of both Republicans and a number of pro-life Democrats.

"Terry Lierman is a lot farther to the left than I am. He ought to be a lot more sensitive to the party’s image and not just his personal views," Sen. Leo Green of Bowie concluded.