A top Democratic Party leader made waves this week when he said the pro-abortion party will not deny funding to candidates who are pro-life.
The statement seems like a step in the right direction for a party that has grown increasingly pro-abortion. But the problem is that pro-life Democratic politicians are almost non existent today, and some who describe their position as pro-life rarely vote that way. So, while the party may be willing to support pro-life Democrats, other pressures appear to be keeping them from holding office.
The Hill reports none of the Democratic candidates in the most contested races so far this fall are pro-life.
Several who are up for re-election, including U.S. Sens. Bob Casey from Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Joe Donnelly from Indiana, will receive party support; however, the three politicians do not have strong pro-life voting records.
Donnelly and Casey had just a 20-percent pro-life voting record in 2013-2014, while Manchin voted pro-life 50-percent of the time, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
Casey and Manchin especially have faced harsh criticism for supporting Planned Parenthood, which aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. and receives millions of taxpayer dollars each year. Embroiled in scandal after scandal involving aborted babies body parts, Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors, many Americans want to see the abortion chain defunded.
While Manchin recently sat down with pro-lifers to discuss the issue, Casey appears to be steadfast in his support of the No. 1 abortion business in the nation.
Earlier this year, Casey claimed he supports Planned Parenthood funding because the abortion chain “reduces abortions.” He ignored how, earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer for an increase in tax funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are the priority of Planned Parenthood.
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Here’s more from The Hill:
Only six members of the House Democratic Caucus voted for a 2013 proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia. Of those six, only three — Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) — are still in Congress. Lipinski and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) are the only Democratic members of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.
In 2016, just one Democratic senator, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, scored less than a 100 percent rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America. Donnelly and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are the only three Democratic senators with lifetime scores under 100 percent with Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
“Back in the early ‘90s, when we had 290 members of the House, we had 100-something pro-life Democrats. Today, we’ve got three or four pro-life Democrats,” said James Zogby, a long-time Democratic National Committee member and a national advisory board member of Democrats for Life of America.
Democratic politicians may not be pro-life, but many of their constituents still are. Democrats for Life estimates more than 23 million Democrats in the U.S. 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 and 40 percent say abortion is morally wrong.
Yet, party leaders have been pushing an increasingly radical pro-abortion position. Last summer, the Democratic National Committee adopted a platform calling for full support of abortion for any reason up to birth and taxpayer funding of abortion – two positions that most Americans oppose.
When their candidates suffered heavy losses last November, party leaders began questioning what had gone wrong, and the party’s pro-abortion stance has been a key issue of contention.
The debate really flared up in the spring after abortion activists with NARAL criticized DNC Chair Tom Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others for supporting Heath Mello, a Nebraska Democratic mayoral candidate who has a pro-life voting record.
Amid pressure from abortion activists, Perez described abortion as a “fundamental value” and said every Democrat should support it.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable,” Perez said in a statement.
Some party leaders pushed back against Perez and said they part should not exclude candidates who support unborn babies’ right to life. In May, for example, Arkansas Democratic leaders made it clear that they will welcome pro-life candidates in their state.
Democrats for Life leaders also met with Perez to discuss how the party’s out-of-touch stance on abortion is alienating voters.