Support Life, Democrats Never Lose Again

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.

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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.

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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.

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9 thoughts on “Support Life, Democrats Never Lose Again

  1. I’m a Dem and am certainly not ardently pro-choice. I doubt if any women have sex thinking they’ll have an abortion if they get pregnant. Most people having sex aren’t thinking much at all.

    Abortion, legal or not, will always be with us. Keep it legal, and safe, and rare. The alternative is to have women injured and dead from unlicensed and unsupervised back alley abortions.

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    1. “The alternative is to have women injured and dead from unlicensed and unsupervised back alley abortions.”

      While the wealthy go wherever it’s legal to have theirs.

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    2. Tom, while abortions would continue if they were illegal, I cannot see how condoning the action is beneficial for women, families, children, or society. I fully recognize that the Law will never change peoples hearts, only the Gospel can do that (which is why this is issue is just as much the responsibility of the Church). However, keeping abortion legal in all instances cannot be the answer.

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      1. I very much agree with Tom. If you start making exceptions, you lose your moral high ground. It has to be all or nothing and “safe, and rare.” An aborted child finds itself in the hands of a merciful God. It is up to us to make sure that every woman, even if she has an abortion, finds herself in the hands of a gracious God. To have that, she needs to live and not resent the Church.

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  2. Graham,

    Abortion rates hit their lowest since 1973 and have dropped by 12% since 2010. Meanwhile, attitudes (real ones, not public posturing) toward abortion have remained fairly constant. Most are attributing the drop to attitudes toward sex and marriage with respect to pregnancy. rather than be obsessed with isolating one sinful behavior as a legal target, there is more that can be done concerning attitudes toward abortion as both the Church and with law and policy, not to mention some basic American attitudes that need adjusting.

    Being wise as serpents might mean making abortion less tempting. What the majority of people want is what will obtain in a republic such as ours and the fact is that the majority wants some provision for abortion. Facts:

    >80% of Americans believe abortion should be available if a woman’s health (not her life, that’s a separate question ) might be negatively affected

    >70% of Americans believe it should be permitted if there is a strong likelihood of birth defect

    Similar percentage obtain toward instances of rape and incest.

    Meanwhile:

    Only 35% of Americans see whether a women is married or not should be a factor

    Only 31% think poverty is a good motivation for having an abortion

    You see, if one’s life might be dragged down through no fault of the woman’s, Americans want the option. If you can judge the woman for being promiscuous or (gasp!) poor (listen to rock-ribbed Republicans without filters, sometime), then that’s a different story. If you think people don’t pick up on this in Republican/ evangelical dialog, you underestimate the God’s handiwork in creating our minds.

    What’s even more telling is that the moral polarity on the issue, separate from the squishier, more pragmatic middle that drives the stats, is that white male evangelicals (who love to judge) and white privileged women with bleeding hearts tend the be the groups who claim this most influences their votes.

    This is a moral issue. Proving life is not the problem. Sin is the issue, temptation, attitudes toward family and marriage. This is not an issue for courts, legislatures, prisons, lawyers, and rational arguments between special interests. Permissiveness has not increased abortion. Go with the social policies that will reduce abortion based on the motivations that can be brought into a court of law.

    Here’s some possible starting points:

    • Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children).
    • Twenty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes between 100 and 199% of the federal poverty level.
    • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.

    Think there’s some social policy and church-work to be done, here?

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    1. HLewis, some excellent points and some great data. Thanks for contributing to this topic.

      I especially resonate with your comment that: “This is not an issue for courts, legislatures, prisons, lawyers, and rational arguments between special interests.” Many pro-lifers cannot fathom this concept.

      As I noted above in the comment section, this is first and foremost an issue for the Church. However, I don’t think we can’t ignore the public policy implications of legalized abortion. Your point though remains.

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      1. Legalized abortion really doesn’t present a public policy issue in and of itself. However, as I indicated, it does reflect the desires of the majority, American moral sensibilities, American biases, and social problems some of which might be mitigated by policy. American Christians, outside the mainline and some Catholics, tend to avoid social justice issues for fear that they might fall into some works-based righteousness (something we all fall into, anyway). There is a tendency to moralize about poverty rather than act, to proclaim racism a myth and sexism a farce, even to bend family structure if it prevents an abortion. They point to homosexual marriage as a threat because it makes teaching children tough, might make people hate us. But, have you every read the online venom about it from people who’ve been married 3 or 4 times? Try this one on, instead, the state doesn’t make a marriage with rubber stamps and licenses. Let people use whatever definitions and words they want. since all you and I have in our marriages, with respect to the state, are soluble legal agreements with our spouses, who cares how many other relationships the state throws into that mix? I, for one, was not married by virtue of the state and a piece of paper and, if the state forbade the Church from marrying people, I pray it would openly defy the state and tell people not to get the rubber stamp.

        It seems that the abortion issue just highlights more ways Christians try to merge the Two Kingdoms and insinuate the state into the work of the Church thinking, not that it will corrupt the Church but that the Church will purify the state. If we’re really serious about legislating sin and merging the kingdoms, we should should start at making sure no one practices idolatry, bows to false gods, or is an atheist. then we can worry about working our way down to you shall not murder. Otherwise, we’re picking and choosing winnable ways of punishing people for certain sins.

        Is that really what we want to be before the world? The ignorance and lack of respect for religion that people see in the Democrats/ liberals is equally matched by a different ignorance and lack of respect from Republicans/ conservatives.

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  3. HLewis, your last comment is great. I’m particularly intrigued by the paragraph on the mixing of the two kingdoms (realms). Very good stuff. Lots to think about…

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  4. I am one of those who agrees with Democrats on almost everything EXCEPT abortion.
    They are not abortion supporters for just the “hard case” and/or “very early” ones, but they favor abortion-on-
    demand for ANY reason (including sex-selection and routine birth control), throughout pregnancy.
    And they want tax payers to PAY for them!
    The Republicans, on the other hand, “say” they oppose abortion, but favor policies that not only restrict contraceptive access, but want to cut every social program that might actually dissuade some women in crisis situations from seeking abortions.
    AND, when President Reagan had a real chance to choose SCOTUS judges, only 2 out of four were in favor of
    overturning RvW.
    I see such hypocrisy on BOTH sides.
    I also agree with you that the Democrats hard line abortion stance IS, at least in recent years, costing more votes than it is “gaining” them.
    I sure hope you are right about Democrats even “modifying” their abortion views, but I’m not
    holding my breath!

    s

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