Pro-life Democrats are increasingly being ostracized by their own party leaders. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, for example, demurred when asked recently whether he’s open to a Democratic party platform on abortion that’s more tolerant and accepting of pro-life Democrats.
“I am pro-[abortion], and I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision,” Buttigieg told Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America. “The best I can offer is that if we can’t agree on where to draw the line, the next best thing we can do is agree on who should draw the line and, in my view, it’s the woman who’s faced with that decision in her own life.”
Buttigieg’s comments highlight a trend in recent years of Democrats excluding from the party peers who believe pre-born babies have the right to life, no matter the circumstances under which they were conceived. The party gets more extreme on the issue with every passing year as the pro-life Democrats who remain find themselves in hostile territory. Should they choose to defect, however, there is plenty of room for pro-life Democrats under the GOP umbrella.
Republicans and President Donald J. Trump over the past three years have shown a commitment to supporting and implementing pro-life policies. Most notably, the Trump administration in 2019 rolled out a pro-life rule-change that prohibits recipients of federal “Title X” family planning grants from providing or referring pregnant women for abortions.
Abortion giant Planned Parenthood, as a result, withdrew from the taxpayer-funded program and will have to go without the more than $60 million it received annually through the program. As March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said at the time, “Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion.”
Furthermore, the administration reinstated the “Mexico City” policy, in place under former President Ronald Reagan. The policy prohibits federal taxpayer dollars from going to non-governmental organizations worldwide that provide or refer pregnant women to abortionists.
Members of the president’s administration have worked tirelessly to craft and implement pro-life policies that protect human life at its most vulnerable, armed with the knowledge that, as President Trump said recently when he became the first president to address attendees at the annual March for Life, “Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God.”
When one considers all the pro-life successes of this administration, it’s difficult to argue with the president when he says, “[F]rom the first day in office, I have taken historic action to support America’s families and to protect the unborn.” Indeed, pro-life Democrats will be hard-pressed to vote for the abortion extremists after taking stock of all the president’s pro-life accomplishments.
Contrast his pro-life accomplishments to the pro-abortion attitudes taking root in the Democratic party. Take, for example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signing into law the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” which effectively legalized abortion for any reason throughout all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy in the Empire State.
Compare President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments to the abortion extremism exhibited by certain Old Dominion State lawmakers who had the audacity to introduce in Virginia a bill that would’ve done the same as the one adopted in New York. Pro-life Democrats aren’t finding safe haven in their party and will inevitably begin to peel off from their roots if they continue to be excluded.
Democratic party leaders, naturally, are in for a rude awakening—especially when one considers that pro-life Americans are more inclined to say abortion is a “major factor” in deciding their presidential vote by a 10-point margin over those who identify as “pro-choice," according to the latest Marist Poll survey commissioned annually by the Knights of Columbus, a charitable Catholic fraternity.
As Supreme Knight Carl Anderson says, “When it comes to voting for president, intensity is stronger on the pro-life side.” This knowledge should have Democratic party leadership and their 2020 presidential hopefuls quaking in their boots because—if these numbers are any indication—President Trump will likely win re-election in 2020 thanks in large part to Democrats who reject the heart and soul of their party.
Teri Christoph is the host of the Smart Girl Politics podcast and a longtime fundraising consultant.