Pro-life Democrats are speaking out this week after Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez told them that they are not welcome.
Last week, Perez described abortion as a “fundamental value” to the party after abortion activists attacked DNC leaders for supporting a candidate with a pro-life voting record.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said Friday in a statement. “That is not negotiable …”
The statement angered Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life. Her pro-life group has been urging the party to “open the big tent” and welcome pro-lifers into leadership again.
Day told TheBlaze this week, “Empowering women to carry their babies to term … that’s a way our party could really flourish and lead, instead of saying that killing babies is a fundamental right.”
[Day] told TheBlaze that Perez imposed a “litmus test” on potential Democratic candidates — a test that weakens the party as it attempts to regroup in preparation for the 2018 and 2020 elections.
“It’s pretty clear,” Day said of Perez’s demand. “There’s no gray area here. He’s saying being for abortion is non-negotiable.”
Day noted that Perez initially backed Mello before issuing the statement.
“He caved to the pressure of NARAL and totally flip-flopped on the issue,” Day said …
Last week, NARAL slammed the DNC and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for supporting Heath Mello, a Democratic candidate for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska.
As a state legislator, Mello supported several pro-life measures, including a bill to require that abortion facilities inform women of their right to request an ultrasound and a 20-week abortion ban.
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“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women — one of the most critical constituencies for the party — of our basic rights [abortion] and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement.
Perez caved to the pressure from the pro-abortion group, and Mello backtracked on his pro-life position. However, Sanders, who supports abortion, refused to give into the abortion lobby’s pressure.
“The truth is that in some conservative states there will be candidates that are popular candidates who may not agree with me on every issue. I understand it. That’s what politics is about,” Sanders told NPR last week.
Day told TheBlaze that she was pleased to see Sanders stick up for Mello’s pro-life record, and she urged Perez to retract his statements.
She called for Perez to “retract this abortion litmus test,” noting that his Twitter profile states that he is “fighting for the little guy.”
“I think that’s a little ironic, that he has ‘fighting for the little guy’ on his Twitter page as a description of himself, yet, he’s not,” Day said. “He’s attacking the littlest.”
Perez is alienating a huge number of voters by demanding that Democrats support abortion on demand. Democrats for Life estimates more than 23 million Democrats are pro-life.
Last year, Pew Research found that 28 percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Marist/KofC polling also found that 23 percent of Democrats consider themselves pro-life.
On Twitter, Day urged pro-life Democrats to directly support pro-life candidates, rather than the party, until Democratic leaders begin welcoming pro-lifers again.
The Democratic Party has not always been so extreme on abortion. The party, which prides itself in fighting for the vulnerable, once welcomed strong pro-life politicians who fought for the rights of unborn babies. Recently, however, it has been increasingly aligning itself with the abortion industry.
Last year, the DNC adopted a platform calling for taxpayers to fund abortions and support Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.