As the Democratic Party descends into the abortion wars among themselves, Commentary’s Noah Rothman asked Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) whether the Democrats could be a pro-life party, or at least one that accepts pro-life members, or are the two ideologies just too far apart to make such an accommodation. Rothman’s remarks come after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made it known that they will not withhold financial support from candidates who stray from this plank in the party platform. It’s enraged progressive groups, like NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and even former DNC chair Howard Dean said that he might have to withhold support for his own party’s candidates.
Van Hollen decided to deploy countermeasures on this question:
“Well, look, I think candidates, in my experience, are chosen by their constituents. They come out of local organizations. They come out of their local work experience. So you don’t have the DSCC choosing the candidates. You have the Democratic candidate primary voters in these primaries making those decisions,” he said.
Dean has been adamant that pro-lifers can’t be Democrats, whereas other strategists are worried these purity tests will whittle down the party to a regional, coastal one. Roughly 30 percent of Democrats self-identify as pro-life and the overly progressive wing seems to think lopping that off will help them win. It won’t, especially in areas that will be key in their efforts to retake the White House and Congress. I’m not complaining about these internal squabbles.
Women’s health & rights are non-negotiable - incl. access to safe, legal abortion. We’ll hold any politician who says otherwise accountable.— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) August 1, 2017
The future is female. It’s time for politicians to listen to women. They have three options: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) August 1, 2017
We do not have to make compromises on protecting women’s health to win back the House or Senate.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 2, 2017