Democrat Party Chair Won’t Say If There’s Room for Pro-Life Democrats

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 12, 2018   |   11:24AM   |   Washington, DC

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez dodged a question about supporting pro-life party members Sunday after making conflicting statements in the past.

MSNBC host Kasie Hunt interviewed Perez on Sunday about the mid-term elections, specifically the race involving U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Lipinski is a pro-life Democrat who recently spoke at the March for Life. Even though he is an incumbent, many Democrat leaders are backing his primary challenger, Maria Newman, a radical pro-abortion Democrat who supports abortion for any reason up to birth.

Hunt asked Perez if pro-life Democrats like Lipinski still are welcome in the Democratic Party, a debate that has been raging for more than a year. Perez refused to say.

According to the report:

“Is there room for anti-abortion Democrats?” Hunt asked.

“There’s a very spirited debate in that particular race, and so one thing I’ve learned from watching presidential politics is that when the DNC gets involved in Democratic primaries—” Perez started.

“But he’s an incumbent,” Hunt noted.

“Well, again, one thing I’ve learned from primaries in the past, is that when the DNC gets involved in those races, then we sometimes get accused of trying to put the thumb on the scale,” Perez said. “That’s one of those races where we will see what happens … We’re building the infrastructure to ensure that whoever wins that race will end up being able to win in November.”

Perez did say that he is a “big fan of Joe Manchin,” a West Virginia Democrat who also is moderately pro-life and is up for re-election.

Manchin has a mixed pro-life voting record. He voted to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion chain; however, Manchin also was one of only three Senate Democrats to support a ban on late-term abortions after 20 weeks.

The Democratic Party has adopted an increasingly radical stance on abortion. In 2016, the DNC approved a platform calling for full support of abortion for any reason up to birth and taxpayer funding of abortions. Both are widely unpopular positions among the general public.

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Party leaders also have been debating whether to stop supporting pro-life Democrats like Lipinski altogether.

The debate really flared up in 2017 after the radical pro-abortion group NARAL criticized Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others for supporting a pro-life Democratic mayoral candidate in Nebraska. Responding to the pressure, Perez described abortion as a “fundamental value” to the party. Afterward, however, Perez faced some pushback from members of his own party.

Later, Tom Steyer, the single largest donor to the Democratic Party in recent years, announced that he will give money only to pro-abortion candidates.

These moves put the party out of touch with a strong majority of its own voters.

Democrats for Life estimates more than 23 million Democrats in the U.S. are pro-life. In 2016, 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.

Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions either. 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.

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.