By Graham Glover –
As much as I wish it would happen, I doubt it ever will – the Democratic Party supporting the Pro-Life Movement. It boggles my mind why the party that so passionately advocates on behalf of the less fortunate, the outcast, and the voiceless, is eerily silent when it comes to the unborn child. But I’m not politically naïve, I get the underlying narrative that prevents this from happening, which is why I have no expectation that those who do not support abortion on demand will ever be given a role, much less a platform, in Democratic politics.
Don’t kid yourself though, they’re out there – pro-life Democrats – who continue to champion the cause of Life in a party that refuses to consider their voice.
However, if 2016 has proven anything, it’s that politics as we know it is radically changing. The standard paradigms of Democratic and Republican politics are in the process of shifting in ways none of us ever imagined. And in the midst of this evolution, I think that if the Democratic Party gave the Pro-Life Movement a place in its party, a simple, but real voice, that it would become our nation’s lone majority party, which may never lose a presidential election again.
I know, I know, every bit of conventional wisdom indicates this will never happen. The Democratic Party seems forever wed to the abortion rights agenda. To even hint at allowing pro-lifers to have a say it its politics, much less rise in its ranks, is political blasphemy to many on the Left. So, ardent pro-choice Democrats should probably stop reading. The same goes for pro-lifers that are hard-core Republicans. What I’m suggesting will never be considered by either group.
But for everyone else, I invite you to consider the possibility. Consider the inroads Democrats could make if they stopped ostracizing pro-lifers. Consider how their inclusion of this movement within their party could permanently alter election outcomes. I know the Democratic Party will never fully support the Pro-Life Movement, but I’m not asking them to become the Pro-Life Party. I’m simply asking them to give pro-lifers a place at the table – to open up an honest conversation with those that think the government should not condone abortion.
(Remember, Democrats were not always the party of abortion on demand. Pro-life Democrats used to be found in abundance, perhaps even outnumbering pro-choice Democrats. The unwavering embrace of abortion rights is a relatively recent phenomenon within Democratic politics.)
It would also help if we were honest about pro-lifers that vote Republican. There are a significant number of them that do not wholly embrace the Republican agenda. But many pro-lifers continue to vote Republican for one reason alone: abortion. The issue is that important. Even if they support the Democratic candidate on every other issue, to include government programs that support newborn children and single parents, the fact that Democrats refuse to allow any conversation on abortion restrictions or recognize that there is value in embracing a culture of life, is enough to turn them completely away from the Democratic Party, even in races where abortion is not a significant issue. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case. The Democratic Party can once again find a place for those that are pro-life.
Several years ago I was at a state Democratic party convention. A woman came up to me and tried to put a “Block Alito, Save Roe” sticker on me (Sam Alito had just been nominated to the Supreme Court). I refused and told the woman that I am pro-life and that I think Roe vs. Wade was and remains poor jurisprudence. The woman was floored. I thought she was going to hyperventilate as she screamed: “How can you be a Democrat if you are not pro-choice?!” “Well,” I said “I’m with you on taxes, health care, the environment, foreign affairs, the 2nd Amendment, and a host of other issues.” She looked at me with complete disgust and exclaimed: “People like you have no place in the Democratic Party”. (I’m still not sure if her final comment is true or not…)
But pro-lifers do have a place in Democratic politics. Or at least they should. And I think that if pro-life Democrats were made welcome and their views considered, that the Democratic Party would become an unstoppable force on the national scene. There are social justice voters that are also pro-life, ready to fully embrace the Democratic Party if they would stop alienating the Pro-Life Movement. There are Christians of every stripe who concur with the Democratic Party on so much, but are dumbfounded with the party’s unwavering stance on the abortion issue. Sometimes these voters stay home, other times they vote Republican, but I’m convinced they could be swayed and if given enough of a platform, bring throngs of votes to the Democratic Party.
On so many levels the Democratic Party should be the natural home for the Pro-Life Movement. Sadly, Democrats want nothing to do with them. I suggest they rethink that strategy and consider what their voice and their platform can do for the weakest and most alienated among us – the unborn.