by WorldTribune Staff, April 24, 2017
A pair of top Democrats are telling the 28 percent of the party that is pro-life to get in line and support abortion – or leave the party.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Party chair Tom Perez have said there is no room in the party for dissent on the abortion issue, The Daily Caller reported on April 23.
“I am committed to women’s rights under the law, reproductive rights certainly, and our party is [committed],” Durbin said in an appearance on CNN. “We’ve made that part of our platform and position for a long, long time. I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal.”
Durbin said pro-lifers can be in the party “as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe vs Wade, prepared to back women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law.” That is: Democratic Party members can be personally opposed to abortion, but are expected to publicly support it.
Perez also demanded party members toe the line on abortion:
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement on April 21. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
A Pew Research Center study last year found that 28 percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Hispanic voters — a key voting bloc for the Democratic party — are deeply divided on the subject. Pew found that 49 percent of Hispanics say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, while 48 percent say it should be legal in most or all cases.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared to contradict Perez and Durbin.
“Of course” Democrats can also be pro-life, Pelosi said on MSNBC on April 23. Pelosi, however, did not address whether Democrats can support pro-life policies in addition to personally opposing abortion.
The 2016 Democratic Party platform called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal taxpayer dollars for abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.