Cynthia M. Allen: Democratic candidates to pro-lifers: There's no room for disagreement on abortion
editor's pick
COMMENTARY

Cynthia M. Allen: Democratic candidates to pro-lifers: There's no room for disagreement on abortion

  • 7
{{featured_button_text}}
Cynthia M. Allen mug

Cynthia M. Allen

FORT WORTH, Texas — During a recent MSNBC town hall on abortion rights, Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders was asked if he thought there was room in his party for pro-lifers.

His response? No.

“Being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat,” he said.

His comments were predictable, even banal for those of us who have witnessed the progressive left normalizing and quite literally celebrating the destruction of humans in their earliest stages of existence.

But they have to come as quite a shock to the millions of Americans who vote Democratic but identify as pro-life.

There are about 21 million of them.

I know more than a few. Political extremism on the left is excluding their views to the party’s detriment — and frankly, to the broader detriment of political culture and society.

Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life, personally encountered her party’s intransigence on the issue of abortion just days before the Iowa caucuses.

At a forum with Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, Day asked if Buttigieg wanted the support of people like her and if the candidate would support modifying the party platform to include language that recognizes a diversity of opinions about abortion among the party faithful.

While he was not so succinct as his fellow candidate from Vermont, Buttigieg’s response was essentially the same.

There isn’t room for diversity on this issue. Please move along.

At least he was polite.

Shortly thereafter, Day lamented the rejection of her party.

“As recently as 2008, the Democratic Party recruited 12 pro-life candidates to compete for congressional seats,” she wrote in USA Today. “Today, things have changed.”

She pointed to nationally representative data that suggests “a majority of the population supports banning late-term abortions after 20 weeks gestation.” And she cited a recent Marist Poll which affirmed her contention that close to half of Democrats support abortion restrictions after the first trimester.

Buttigieg is not one of them.

Day calls his position extreme. She’s right. Public polling proves that.

But his position is effectively the same as those held by most of the Democratic candidates who remain in the primary field: few restrictions on abortion, if any at all.

For her part, Elizabeth Warren has perhaps what is the clearest — and most radical — abortion platform.

She wants to prevent states from passing laws that restrict abortion access and would seek to repeal restrictions on when federal funds can be used to pay for abortions.

When she was asked during a November debate, whether a pro-life Democrat has a place in the party, she said, “I’m not here to try to drive anyone out of this party,” but added, “I have made clear what I think the Democratic Party stands for.”

Indeed. It stands for unfettered access to abortion, apparently, and woe to the woman or man who says otherwise.

Taking such an absolutist and exclusive position on the issue seems odd for a party that believes itself a champion of inclusiveness, not to mention social justice.

A common rejoinder from Democrats criticizing pro-life people on the right is that the GOP is pro-birth but doesn’t want to help children after that. It’s the Democrats, after all, who want to expand health insurance coverage, increase the minimum wage and “support” families through more government programming like universal pre-kindergarten.

But none of those programs will ever benefit people who, in the thinking of current party leaders, have no right to exist.

That isn’t inclusive. And it certainly isn’t just. A party that fails to welcome people who think about life differently can’t claim to be either.

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at cmallen@star-telegram.com.

0
1
0
0
0

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The number of cases of COVID-19 is soaring in the United States. The economy is in free fall. Tens of millions of Americans are locked down in their homes. Hospitals around the country are becoming overwhelmed by the day. The U.S. is arguably facing its most severe crisis since World War II. Yet despite the worsening pandemic and withering criticism of President Donald Trump's performance by ...

In addition to the usual rambling and nonsense, President Donald Trump's daily briefings of efforts to contain and combat the coronavirus have featured another regular bit that has begun to reoccur with dreadful predictability. It goes like this: The president is asked a question by a reporter. The president then insults that reporter. Within two minutes, the reporter's name begins to trend on ...

Donald Trump isn't the first U.S. president to face a deadly new pathogen that wreaks havoc on American life and the wider world. But he may be the least suited for the challenge, a judgment based on how a handful of his predecessors confronted these invisible and terrifying foes. George Washington's epidemic hit before he was president. In early 1777, he was trying to keep the American ...

In the midst of a global pandemic, President Barack Obama's signature health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, turned 10 years old. It has been under fire that entire time, with more than 70 legislative attempts to repeal or otherwise limit the law, not counting executive and judicial action to chip away at it. In its 2020-21 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will again decide whether to strike ...

President Donald Trump recently signed a coronavirus relief package that extends and enhances benefits for America's rapidly growing numbers of unemployed. But the bill does nothing to fix the payday hardship that crushes so many Americans still working: a federal minimum wage that has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for years. Millions of U.S. workers - through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond - ...

It's not as big a leap as you might think, from writing a bestseller about a zombie war to lecturing at the Modern War Institute at West Point. There are all kinds of wars - including the one we are waging now, against a viral enemy. Max Brooks' novel "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" holds as much statecraft and medical science as it does gore and horror, which is why he's ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News