January 31, 2013
Today, we sent a letter to State Senator Klein asking him to refrain from further allegations that Democrats who oppose abortion are not “true” Democrats. We further requested that he remove his support for abortion expansion language and instead add language such as that found in the Pregnant Women Support Act (the Federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund) to the Women’s Equality Bill.
We are deeply concerned about Senator Klein’s repeated assertions that in order to be a “true” Democrat one is required to support abortion. His view is short-sighted and incorrect.
There are 21 million Democrats who self-identify as pro-life and who offer much diversity of opinion within the Democratic Party on this issue of abortion.
That diversity of opinion is as follows:
- 61% of Democrats support parental consent for minors seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
- 60% of Democrats support a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
- 84% of Democrats support informed consent (Gallup, 2011);
- 49% of Democrats support an ultrasound requirement (Gallup, 2011);
- 59% of Democrats support a ban on partial-birth abortions (Gallup, 2011).
Before continuing to assail one-third of Democrats, Senator Klein might want to reconsider his support for a litmus tests to govern who should be considered a true Democrat. And, perhaps he should reflect on his own record and recent actions.
First and foremost, Senator Klein is not a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He abandoned his fellow Democrats and formed an Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) stating it would be a “permanent third conference” in the New York Senate.
Following the 2012 election, he hatched a deficient plan to “share” power with Republicans – even though New York voters elected a Democratic majority. This uneven IDC/Republican power share allows the Republican minority to chair 70 percent of the committees while Democrats are relegated to chair only 30 percent or 8 Committee’s.
Further, Senator Klein agreed to co-host a fundraiser whose proceeds would benefit the Manhattan Republican Party. He has since pulled out of the fundraiser.
The Democratic Party is a diverse party that encompasses all facets of our society. This diversity is a source of strength. Questioning loyalty to the Party or telling people they are not true Democrats is diametrically opposed to our Democratic philosophy. We are the big tent. We welcome everyone.
Until Senator Klein takes a closer look at his own record, he should refrain from criticizing or casting out democrats who oppose abortion. Additionally, he should consider that removing the abortion expansion language will allow the Women’s Equality pass. That bill, not abortion expansion, will help New York women.
Contact: Kristen Day 202-220-3066