Democrats Urge Presidential Candidate Clinton to Open Big Tent to Those Who Oppose Abortion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
May 7, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – – Democrats For Life of Americais urging presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to open the Big Tent of the Democratic Party to pro-life voters and to support neutrality on the issue of abortion in the Democratic Party Platform. The current platform not only supports abortion, but also supports taxpayer funding of abortion.
“Secretary Clinton once recognized that people ‘have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of abortion, and she said she respected ‘those who believe that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available.’ We are asking candidate Clinton to open that door and issue in a new era of respect and inclusion for Democrats who hold these views,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “For the good of the party, we must re-open the big tent to include Democrats who support life from conception to natural death.”
In 1978, the Democratic Party held a 292-seat majority in the U.S. House, which included 125 pro-life Democrats. Increased partisanship over the pro-life issue—including the rejection of pro-life candidates within the Democratic Party—caused many of the pro-life Democratic districts to elect Republican candidates. In fact, the number of pro-choice Democrats in the House has essentially remained around 167. It is the number of pro-life Democrats that decreased from 125 to only a handful, leaving Democrats overall with only 188 members.
“Since the 1992 shunning of pro-life Democratic Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party has alienated its pro-life base. Polls consistently show that about one-third of Democrats—that’s 21 million Democrats—oppose abortion,” said Day. “If we are going to increase our base to win back the majority and keep the White House, our Democratic nominee must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the 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).
“We are asking Secretary Clinton and any other Democratic presidential hopeful to embrace a platform that fully represents all Democrats, not just those who support abortion,” said Day. “In the 2008 election, about one-quarter of Obama’s supporters self-identified as pro-life. These numbers are not trivial; they exceed many prominent and well-represented constituencies in the party. Electoral success for the party nationwide will depend on the enthusiasm of all Democrats, including pro-life Democrats.”