WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com) –  The Democratic Party’s pro-life members are not asking their party to oppose abortion in 2012; they’re just asking for recognition that they exist.

Democrats for Life of America, “the pro-life voice of the Democratic Party,” has unleashed a new petition to the party, asking for recognition that not all Democrats support abortion-on-demand for all nine months of pregnancy.

The petition, “We Support the Big Tent,” proposes a plank to the Democratic Party platform that would “recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty.”

The draft plank encourages liberals to “find common ground” to “reduce the number of abortions” by implementing enhanced government spending policies.“Women deserve to have a breadth of options” of new welfare programs, it states, including “access to education, healthcare, childcare.”

No new restrictions on abortion are proposed in the plank.

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The preface states the party’s current platform, which abortion advocates called the most pro-abortion plank in the party’s history, is costing Democrats votes.

“The Democratic Platform currently contains language to allow taxpayer funding of abortion,” DFLA writes. “National polls have consistently demonstrated that most Americans do not support the government paying for abortion. In fact, a February 2012 Quinnipiac University poll…found that nearly thirty percent of Americans would not vote for a candidate with whom they disagreed on abortion but agreed on other issues.”

Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life or America, also cited political reasons for the petition, telling told The Washington Examiner, “Expanding our big tent policy with more neutral language on abortion will bring estranged Democrats back and allow pro-choice and pro-life Democrats to work together for common-sense policies.”

Her words echo those of former president Jimmy Carter, who recently told talk show host Laura Ingraham the party should limit abortion “only to women whose life are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest.”

“I think if the Democratic Party would adopt that policy that would be acceptable to a lot of people who are now estranged from our party because of the abortion issue,” he said. He made similar statements in 2005, shortly after releasing his book Our Endangered Values.

“What he’s doing is making a political calculation,” Dr. Richard Land told LifeSiteNews.com at the time. Abortion “is killing the Democrats in the South,” said Dr. Land, who has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988. “Jimmy understands this.”

“I think there’s a political calculus at play here,” agreed J. Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.

The last pro-life Democrat to appear on a national ticket was Sargent Shriver, George McGovern’s second vice presidential choice in 1972. He died last January.

As of this writing, the petition had attracted around 375 signatures. Some of its signers wrote messages like:

- “No longer a Democrat because of the extreme out-of-touch position on abortion. Democratic in absolutely every other issue!”
- “Will have to vote for MR if BO continues his health care premium payment stand—contrary to what he represented to RC bishops he would do”; and
- “I would be a Democrat if the tent was enlarged in this way.”

Regaining their votes in 2012 will be no small feat in a campaign led by Barack Obama, widely described as the most pro-abortion president in history.

Planned Parenthood performed a record number of abortions in the first year of Obama’s presidency. The number declined only slightly in 2010.

DFLA backed Obama’s health care bill, which its blog praises as “a profoundly prolife law.” When Obama unveiled pregnancy funds that would would give billions in taxpayer dollars to abortion providers through the Community Health Centers program in July 2010, Kristen Day supported program.

The group recently disputed the notion that abortions would cost $1 under health care regulations written by the Obama administration.

Its petition wants to change the 2012 Democratic platform language to:

We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.

However, we can find common ground.  We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies.  We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support.  We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term.