WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – No one ever said doing the right thing was easy or painless, especially in politics. U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly was one of two Democrats to vote to stop taxpayers from giving more than $500 million a year to Planned Parenthood on Monday.
Donnelly had said, “I cannot in good faith support federal funding for this organization until the questions of whether other clinics are complying with federal and state laws are answered.” Although he did not announce his vote or co-sponsor the legislation, introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst, he voted for the bill, earning him the thanks of Indiana Right to Life.
The bill won 53 votes but failed to meet the 60-vote threshold necessary to move forward.
Just days later his treasurer, former Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis, announced that, because of his position, she had cut ties with his campaign.
She confirmed in an email to the Indianapolis Star, “Yes, I have left my position as Treasurer for Senator Donnelly’s campaign and yes, it is because of his vote to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Her decision to bolt the campaign brought renewed support from the party's pro-life wing.
“Democrats For Life of America applauds both Senator Joe Donnelly (IN) and Senator Joe Manchin (WV) for voting in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood,” Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, told LifeSiteNews. “We applaud their courageous decisions as well as their continued efforts to support the pro-life voice within the Democratic Party.”
The videos show a pattern that is becoming increasingly indefensible, even for members of the abortion industry. Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), said that, like Hillary Clinton, she found the undercover video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress “disturbing.”
“History will show both Donnelly and Manchin are on the right side of history,” Day told LifeSiteNews, “and we hope to elect more men and women of conscience who will withstand the threats from the abortion lobby, properly review evidence and vote to protect taxpayer from funding organizations who have no respect for humanity.”
More than one-quarter of Democrats — 28 percent — described their position on abortion as “pro-life” in a 2014 Gallup poll. Yet the last pro-life Democrat on a national ticket was Sargent Shriver, the vice presidential choice of pro-abortion Democrat George McGovern.
The last pro-life candidate to run for the Democratic presidential nomination was the late Reuben Askew, a former Florida governor, in 1984.
Day says holding a pro-life position – regardless of how liberal a candidate may be on other economic or cultural issues – subjects candidates to baseless scrutiny from other members of their party.
“Pro-life Democrats are Democrats. We are not 'Democrats in Name Only.' We are not Republican spies. We are not traitors to the party,” she said. “We are not conservatives in the modern sense of the word.”
“We are staunch Democrats whose values lead us to the conclusion that government should nurture and protect all life, at every stage of development,” she added.
“Both Senator Donnelly and Senator Manchin are real Democrats whose efforts are worthy of praise, not punishment,” Day told LifeSiteNews. “We stand by both of our senators and their decision to base their votes on principle rather than party pressure.”