May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — After creating an uproar by suggesting there is no longer room for pro-life advocates within the Democratic Party, its chairman has agreed to meet with Democrats for Life, the party’s largest pro-life organization.
A few weeks ago, Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez alienated a segment of the party’s constituency when he announced that anyone who is pro-life is not welcome, asserting that support for abortion is “not negotiable” for Democrats.
Perez has not been shy about this. “At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country … we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice,” he said.
The Democrats’ commitment to abortion again made headlines when Jess O’Connell was selected as the DNC’s CEO. O’Connell, a lesbian, is the former executive director of EMILY’s List, whose stated mission is to “elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”
Pro-life Democrats have found their party increasingly hostile to their cause, despite the fact that 23 percent of Democrats describe themselves as pro-life. And when Democrats are asked if they they support taxpayer funding for abortion, the number rises to a whopping 44 percent who are opposed.
Nearly 75 percent of all Americans believe there should be some restrictions on abortion, favoring limiting it to the first trimester of pregnancy. Even a majority (54 percent) of Americans who identify as ‘pro-choice’ want abortion restricted in this way.
Despite these numbers, the party’s platform has been reshaped to cater to activists’ demands for unlimited access to abortion, declaring the party’s intention to “oppose, and seek to overturn, federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.”
Many are alarmed.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who gave the invocation at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, had called Perez’s remarks “disturbing” and suggested that members of the party should “challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position.”
Kristen Day, executive director for Democrats For Life of America, told LifeSiteNews, “It's interesting to see abortion rights activists within the Democratic Party push back so hard. It shows the true colors of the abortion industry. They don't care about the party. They’re far more interested in promoting themselves and making money. If you care about the health of our party, you’re going to welcome everyone.”
Anthony Bosnick, a Maryland parish social justice minister and another pro-life Democrat, insists “the party needs to return to being concerned about life across the entire spectrum, from conception to natural death.” He quotes Pope Francis' Laudato Si. “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? .
Now the furor is coming from Democrats on the other side of the issue. Announcement of the planned meeting has sparked outrage among some pro-abortion Democratic Party members.
Abortion activist Erin Matson told The Atlantic magazine, “It’s incredibly discouraging to hear what sounds like equivocating on this issue.” Even before Perez announced his planned meeting with pro-life Democrats, Matson berated members of her party who suggested its stance on abortion should be less extreme, suggesting there is no room for that kind of thinking.
So far, neither NARAL nor Planned Parenthood have issued a public statement about the planned meeting.
No date for the meeting has been announced.