The chairman of the Democrat Party’s congressional campaign committee now says his party is open to anti-abortion candidates.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s (D-NM) announcement that “there is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates” on abortion rights comes as the party is struggling to win elections and is seeking to appeal to mainstream Americans and thereby take back control of Congress in 2018.
The move is significant and recognizes the difficulty for Democrats in winning races with a pro-abortion platform that alienates much of mainstream America on what has become a very visible issue, especially since the allegations that Planned Parenthood – the primary provider of abortion in the nation – and its partners in the biomedical procurement industry have been selling the body parts of aborted babies for a profit.
“As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America,” Luján said, according to The Hill.
Luján’s statement, however, is in sharp contrast to the Democrat Party’s 2016 platform – its most pro-abortion ever – and to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez’s announcement in April that pro-life individuals are not welcome in his party.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said, as the HuffPost reported. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
The very different paths suggested in the respective announcements by Luján and Perez continue to highlight a Democrat Party that is in turmoil and may be attempting to negotiate on abortion rights.
Perez’s comments came after the DNC decided to support Heath Mello in the Omaha, Nebraska mayoral race. Mello, it was discovered, had previously voted in the state legislature consistent with his personal pro-life views.
Abortion lobbying group NARAL Pro-Choice America immediately slammed the DNC for its embrace of Mello.
“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women — one of the most critical constituencies for the party — of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid,” fumed NARAL’s president, Ilyse Hogue.
— NARAL (@NARAL) April 20, 2017
Perez responded to the scathing bashing with the compliant statement that he “fundamentally disagree[s] with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” adding that “every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same.”
Leftwing groups that embrace abortion are not likely to take to Luján’s “big tent” approach to pick up 24 congressional seats and thereby gain back control of the House.
“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” said Mitchell Stille of NARAL, The Hill reports. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”
Similarly, Leila McDowell, a spokeswoman with abortion rights political activist organization EMILY’s List, told The Hill, “At the core of the Democratic Party is our commitment to a better economic future for the working people of our country. Reproductive choice is fundamental to our platform.”
“One of the most important financial decisions a woman makes is when and how to start a family,” she continues. “It’s also why we recruit pro-choice Democratic women and work tirelessly to elect them — because they stand up for that critical choice.”
Luján, however, is counting on a more inclusive approach to winning back the House. The Democrat Party has attempted to portray itself as built upon morally upright virtues – such as diversity and inclusiveness – yet Perez’s philosophy clearly demands the opposite, and it appears Luján is attempting to soften that position to make it more palatable to mainstream Americans.
Following Perez’s statement, Robert David Sullivan observed at the Jesuit magazine America, “Abortion is proving that the Democratic Party can outdo Republicans in self-destruction.”
The author continued:
Abortion is now the single issue defining the Democrats, and Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is the de facto head of the party. This gives the Republicans a major advantage in holding off electoral losses if the Trump administration continues to founder.
A Marist/Knights of Columbus poll released in January finds that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, with 61 percent also opposed to funding abortions in the United States with taxpayer dollars. These results include 87 percent of Donald Trump supporters and 39 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters.
Additionally, the poll showed 55 percent of Clinton supporters and 91 percent of Trump supporters approved limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester of pregnancy.
“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” said Knights of Columbus leader Carl Anderson.
“The majority of Americans in favor of abortion restrictions has been consistently around 8 in 10 for the better part of a decade.” Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, also observed, “Though self-identification as pro-life or pro-choice can vary substantially from year to year, the support for restrictions is quite stable.”