Pro-Life Democrat Says Democrats Will Lose Seats if Party Leaders Kick Out Pro-Lifers

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 21, 2017   |   3:03PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life advocates warned the Democratic Party this week that its devotion to the abortion industry and rejection of pro-life candidates could lose them more seats in Congress.

Kristen Day, executive chairwoman of Democrats for Life, told The Washington Times that the party has become too radical and out of touch with voters on the abortion issue. Seats once held by pro-life Democrats now are Republican seats because the party is not backing pro-lifers like it once did, she said.

“When you look at the 1st Congressional District in Michigan, we’ve pretty much handed that over to Republicans,” Day told the newspaper.

The abortion issue has become a huge debate again in the Democratic Party. Some prominent Democrats are demanding support of abortion from all candidates, while others say the party should welcome pro-life candidates again.

The debate really flared up in the spring after abortion activists with NARAL criticized Democratic National Committee 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. But afterward, Perez faced pushback from members of his own party.

Then, a few weeks ago, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Luján said his committee will not deny support to candidates who are pro-life. However, another committee member contradicted Luján last week and told the Atlantic that they have “no interest” in working with Democrats for Life or other pro-life groups.

This is a huge mistake, Day said.

Here’s more from her interview with the Times:

The chief example of a seat where pro-life stances matter is Michigan’s 1st District, which was held by Rep. Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat, for years until his 2011 retirement. Mr. Stupak led the push for pro-life protections to be written into Obamacare.

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After his retirement, the seat went GOP.

Ms. Day says that’s because Democrats keep running candidates that are too extreme on issues like abortion and discount the importance of the issue to voters. She says this problem is seen across the country in “Middle America.”

“I think it’s become much more hard-line now. What happened is the pro-choice Democrats kinda felt like Hillary Clinton is going to win, and they made the abortion platform more radical. But what they didn’t realize is they alienated pro-life Democrats who didn’t vote for her,” she said.

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.