Tom Steyer, the single largest donor to the Democratic Party in recent years, said this week that he will give money only to pro-abortion candidates.
Steyer made the comment as Democratic leaders debate whether the party has become too extreme on abortion and if it should support pro-life candidates who appeal to rural voters.
The California billionaire told Politico on Saturday that he is decidedly “pro-choice” and he works closely with the abortion business Planned Parenthood and radical pro-abortion group NARAL.
Steyer is worth about $1.61 billion, according to Forbes. He runs the NextGen America PAC, which supports liberal, pro-abortion candidates. He spent $90 million to back pro-abortion candidates in the 2016 election and about $75 million in the 2014 election.
According to the report:
Asked if his group would help candidates or sitting lawmakers who don’t support abortion rights, he said, “We do not work for a single candidate who is not pro-choice. I think people like to have litmus tests. We are explicitly pro-choice. We work a lot with Planned Parenthood, we work a lot with NARAL. We are absolutely committed to it.”
Those comments put Steyer — the Democratic Party’s single largest donor in recent cycles thanks largely to the money he’s put in the NextGen super PAC — on the side of activists who have been dismayed by comments made recently by some party leaders like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Lujan.
Some of the biggest abortion supporters are rich, privileged old white men like Steyer. George Soros has donated $247 million to liberal and pro-abortion groups in the past few years, and Warren Buffett has given nearly $2 billion to pro-abortion groups in less than two decades.
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Prominent Democrats have been sparring over the abortion issue, with some demanding support of abortion from all candidates and others saying the party should welcome pro-life candidates again.
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.
Then, a few weeks ago, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Luján said his pro-abortion committee will not deny support to candidates who are pro-life. Other party leaders, including pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders, also have said their party should accept pro-life candidates because they tend to represent the views of rural Democrats.
However, another DCCC member contradicted Luján last week. DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly told the Atlantic, “The DCCC has no interest in working with Democrats for Life of America,” a pro-life group.
Democratic 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 – positions that most Americans oppose.
Abortion activists do not seem to realize just how radical and out of touch their position on abortion is with voters. Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions.
A Politico/Harvard University poll in October 2016 found that a majority of voters oppose taxpayer funding for abortions. Just 36 percent of likely voters supported the issue, while 58 percent opposed it. These findings are consistent with previous polls from various groups.
Most Americans also oppose most abortions and want laws to limit abortions or make them illegal. According to a recent Gallup poll, just 29 percent of Americans want unlimited abortion up to birth.
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.