Pro-Life Democrats Seek to Soften DNC Abortion Platform

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2012   |   6:48PM   |   Washington, DC

A national group comprised of pro-life Democrats is seeking to get the Democratic national Committee to soften its pro-abortion platform, specifically regarding taxpayer funding of abortions.

Democrats for Life of America is touting support from Carter for its initiative ahead of this summer’s national convention, where pro-abortion President Barack Obama will likely be nominated for another four year term. DFLA is pushing a petition calling for a big tent for Democrats and seeking “neutral language” in the party platform.

“The Democratic Platform currently contains language to allow taxpayer funding of abortion.  National polls have consistently demonstrated that most Americans do not support the government paying for abortion.  The Democratic Platform language should be inclusive and endorse the views of all Democrats,” the group says on its web site in support of the petition. “In fact, a February 2012 Quinnipiac University poll found that nearly thirty percent of Americans would not vote for a candidate with whom they disagreed on abortion but agreed on other issues.  The Democratic Platform language should be inclusive and endorse the views of all Democrats.”

The petition calls for the following language in the Democratic party platform:

“We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty.  We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.

However, we can find common ground.  We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies.  We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support.  We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term.”

Recently, Carter told radio talk show host Laura Ingraham he supports the effort.

He said,  “I’ve signed a public letter calling for the Democratic Party at the next convention to espouse my position on abortion, which is to minimize the need for abortion and limit it only to women whose lives are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest. I think if the Democratic Party would adopt that policy that would be acceptable to a lot of people who are now estranged from our party because of the abortion issue.”

“I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president having to uphold Roe v. Wade and I did everything I could to minimize the need for abortions. I made it easy to adopt children for instance who were unwanted and also initiated the program called Women and Infant Children or WIC program that’s still in existence now. But except for the times when a mother’s life is in danger or when a pregnancy is caused by rape or incest I would certainly not or never have approved of any abortions,” he said in that interview.

In August 2008, the Democratic Party approved a platform that mirrors President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion views.

“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right,” the platform reads.

The party has removed any language calling for abortions to be “rare,” or even “safe,” preferring to concentrate on keeping them legal.

That fact wasn’t lost on Karen Cross, the political director for National Right to Life.

She said the platform is even out of step with Democrats, and pointed out that 42% of those who identified themselves as Democrats in a June 2008 Polling Company survey said the oppose all or most abortions.

“Once again, the pro-abortion leadership of the Democratic Party demonstrates an allegiance with the extreme pro-abortion lobby and continues to show that it is out of step with a large number of its own membership and out of step with the majority of the American people,” Cross told



The final aspect of the language hearkens to Obama’s pledge to Planned Parenthood in a July 2007 speech saying his first action as president would be signing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act. That’s a Congressional bill that would overturn every abortion limit nationwide from a ban on partial-birth abortions to parental notification laws.

The platform statement on abortion doesn’t end there but includes two more paragraphs that serve as a public relations ploy to moderate that extreme position on abortion.

It talks up birth control and promotion of contraception as supposedly a means to end abortions even though stats seems to show promoting the morning after pill, for example, fails to reduce abortions.

“The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empowers people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions,” the platform proposal reads.

It also provides the party and Obama with political cover by saying it supports childbirth and helping pregnant women.

“The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs,” it concludes on abortion.