The Missouri Democratic Party made it clear pro-life Democrats are not welcome Saturday when it voted to remove platform language encouraging a “diversity of views on abortion.”
The Riverfront Times reports the state party approved the language in July, prompted by calls to be more welcoming to voters who think unborn babies deserve a right to life.
“We respect the conscience of each Missourian and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion,” the amendment read. “We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and welcome into our ranks all Missourians who may hold differing positions on this issue.”
However, the radical pro-abortion groups NARAL and Planned Parenthood quickly expressed outrage at the move. And on Saturday, the state party reversed course and voted to remove the amendment, according to the local news.
In a statement after the vote, Missouri Democrat chairman Stephen Webber implied strongly that pro-lifers are not welcome in the party anymore. He said Democrats should display an unwavering commitment to abortion on demand (“reproductive healthcare”).
“Democrats will continue to fight defend the full spectrum of women’s reproductive rights ensured in Roe v. Wade, including the right to safely end a pregnancy, to safely carry a pregnancy to term, and the right to raise your family in a safe and healthy environment,” Webber said.
Here’s more from the report:
The July amendment, which was pushed by former state Representative Joan Barry (D-St. Louis County), had been a last-minute amendment to the work of the party’s platform committee. It was emailed to members one day before a scheduled vote on a new platform — and the vote ended up taking place on a day that many party activists had already committed to being at immigration protests. After its narrow 31-25 approval, anger ran high.
And perhaps that’s one reason the vote to strip the amendment’s language just one month later wasn’t even close. Even Barry voted in its favor. (An unofficial tally live-tweeted by Planned Parenthood staffer Sarah Felts listed sixty-one in favor, two abstentions, and none opposed.)
… However, not all those running as Democrats have signed on to its tenets. Representative Stacey Newman (D-University City) estimates there are at least a dozen pro-life Democrats in the Missouri House alone. The group has continued to find success with voters. Just last week, in the primary race to fill the south city seat being vacated by Fred Wessels, pro-life Steve Butz beat a pro-choice candidate.
Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life, said one of their members attended the meeting Saturday and said it was terrible.
“They told him there is no room for pro-life Democrats,” Day wrote on Twitter.
In a statement, her organization urged party leaders to listen to Democrat voters who are pro-life.
“Pro-life Democrats have stayed in the shadows and have been taken for granted long enough. We must be recognized and heard,” the statement read. “Right now, we are hearing that current leaders of the Democratic Party do not want us and we should look elsewhere.”
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.
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.