Cecile Richards's Confusing Stance on Pro-Life Democrats

Posted: Aug 03, 2017 12:15 PM

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called abortion “non-negotiable” in a series of tweets Tuesday responding to comments made by the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that the DCCC does not have an abortion litmus test for candidates.

The CEO of the nation’s largest abortion provider tweeted that “Women’s health & rights are non-negotiable – incl. access to safe, legal abortion. We’ll hold any politician who says otherwise accountable.”

She also argued that “access to safe, legal abortion is central to women’s economic empowerment and bodily autonomy,” and tweeted agreement with a New York Times article arguing that “there is no economic equality without the ability to terminate a pregnancy.”

Given Richards' position at the helm of an organization that ended the lives of 328,348 unborn babies in the past year alone, her tweets are relatively unsurprising. However, Richards said something slightly different in April when asked about DNC Chair Tom Perez’s comment that all Democratic candidates need to support abortion.

“Is it difficult right now to be a pro-life Democrat?" NBC’s Nicole Wallace asked her at the time. "Do you guys make it difficult?”

“Oh, I don't think so,” she replied, saying, “abortion is one of these issues that it is – I think shouldn't be politicized.”

“I think it’s actually a very deeply personal issue, and I respect folks having their own personal feelings about it,” she continued. “I think the question is, ‘what should the government be doing about it?’ And so, I think there’s are – there are room for people to have their own personal opinions without saying, ‘Well, I’m going to make everybody else abide by my own – my own views.’”

If abortion is “non-negotiable” and “central to women’s economic empowerment and bodily autonomy” how can it also be a personal issue that shouldn’t be politicized with room for people’s personal opinions?

Much of the far left’s reaction to the news that the DCCC might fund pro-life Democrats has been anger and hysteria. The question remains whether Democrats who vote based on the belief that abortion ends a human life will be tolerated in the party or if they will remain but be asked to keep their views as “personal opinions” and vote in line with the party on abortion.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) seemed to be open to the existence of pro-life Democrats in their comments on the controversy over Perez’s comments.

“This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party,” Pelosi told The Washington Post, adding that she grew up “in a very devout Catholic family,” and saying, “my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?”

“I am strongly pro-choice, and I will fight,” Sen. Warren told The Huffington Post but added, “I recognize that not all of my colleagues agree with me. I’ll do everything I can to persuade them, but they are my colleagues, and that’s just how it is with the Democrats.”

A recent Gallup poll found that only 43 percent of Americans consider abortion to be “morally acceptable.” There are 21 million pro-life Democrats, or roughly a quarter of the party, some of whom feel betrayed by the party’s platform on abortion.