The Democrat party is struggling to find an acceptable stance on abortion after Tom Perez, chairman of the party, made some remarks which alienated pro-life democrats. According to The Tablet:
Mr Perez made the statement after being heavily criticised by groups favouring abortion rights for supporting Heath Mello, a Democratic mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, who was “personally opposed to abortion.”
During the campaign, Mr Perez responded to the criticism and took issue with Mr Mello for his failure to support abortion. “Every Democrat,” he said, “like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable.”
Perez’s remarks basically implying that supporting abortion no matter what the situation should be a litmus test for identifying oneself as a Democrat understandably offended pro-life Democrats in the party. According to Life News, “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.” In essence Perez’s words effectively distanced himself from nearly a fourth of the Democratic party, something that would be particularly untimely and destructive considering the results of the 2016 election.
According the The Atlantic, Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly condemned Perez’s approach, pointing out the foolishness of dividing the party over an issue like abortion.
“I don’t know why we would want to start walking away from folks, like myself, who have a personal conviction on the pro-life issue,” Donnelly said. “We ought to be able to include everyone, as opposed to saying ‘no, we don’t want these folks, even though they fight with us on jobs, even though they fight with us for economic rights, even though they fight with us on healthcare.’ It just seems to me to be very, very short-sighted.”
Donnelly’s words ring with truth. If the Democratic party wishes to rebuild and gain momentum for mid-term elections, it certainly doesn’t make sense to become estranged from pro-life candidates and voters. Contrary to the radical abortion stance that the party has taken recently, even many who support abortion in theory think there should be some limits on abortion. As noted by The Hill, “According to recent Marist polling, nearly 8 in 10 Americans support some restrictions on abortion (74 percent), and would limit it to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This number includes 54 percent of those who identify as pro-choice.”
It’s clear that the radical pro-abortion stance isn’t going to fly, even with a more liberal party. Perhaps it’s time that Democrat leaders really listen to the people, and accurately represent their constituents. Believing in the sanctity and dignity of all human life should be a bipartisan issue, and it’s time for Democratic party leaders to begin treating it as such.