A Missouri abortion activist with Planned Parenthood claimed that just welcoming pro-life Democrats into the party is anti-woman.
Rachel Sweet of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes made the comment after the Missouri Democratic Party approved a platform amendment that welcomed a “diversity of views on abortion” in July.
By “rolling out the welcome mat for candidates who do not support abortion rights,” the party was “signaling to its female supporters that their rights are expendable,” Sweet told the Kansas City Star.
By women’s rights, Sweet meant only rights for born women, specifically the so-called right to abortion. Planned Parenthood does not think women in the womb should have any rights, not even the right to not be discriminated against in a sex-selection abortion.
Further, counter to Sweet’s claims, it was a female lawmaker who proposed the amendment. And polls indicate there are many Democrats and many women who do not support abortion on demand or taxpayer-funded abortions, two positions supported by the Democratic Party.
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans – including women – 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.
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 abortions up to birth.
Despite this, on Saturday, the state party caved to abortion activists’ demands and pulled the welcoming language from its platform.
The amendment read: “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. 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.”
Former state Rep. Joan Barry, who introduced the amendment, refuted claims that the Saturday vote was unanimous. She said she and several other committee members abstained from the vote and expressed their dissent.
“Diversity has been a matter of strength in this party,” Barry told the Star. “I just felt that we needed to be sure pro-life Democrats are recognized as members of the party. Some people in the electorate don’t believe that you can be pro-life and be a Democrat. But that’s not true.”
Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life, said Barry’s amendment was quite reasonable. She said it did not “dilute the abortion-rights plank” in the party platform, it merely welcomed the millions of Democrats like herself who think unborn babies deserve to be protected.
“For decades, the party has worked to silence whole-life voters who support human life from conception until natural death. And the results are not good,” Day said, noting a pattern of Democratic election failures in Missouri and U.S. Congress.
“At what point will the abortion-rights progressives be held accountable for prioritizing their single issue above the health and success of the Democratic Party?” she questioned.
The situation in Missouri is another example of a larger push by some Democrat leaders to push out pro-lifers from the party. Earlier this year, incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, one of the last pro-life Democrats in Congress, faced an uphill battle in his primary election after the party refused to endorse him – a highly unusual move.
Others have left the Democratic Party because it has stopped supporting pro-life laws and advocates for life like Lipinski. In February, a Massachusetts mayor publicly announced his decision to leave, disgusted by the party’s demand that unborn babies be sacrificed and their deaths celebrated.
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.