Pro-life Democrats feel the heat turn up | WORLD
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Pro-life Democrats feel the heat turn up


WORLD Radio - Pro-life Democrats feel the heat turn up

The Democratic Party is pushing out pro-lifers, but some state Democrats still vote for life

Kansas state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, makes a point during a Senate debate on a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution during a Senate debate, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Haley opposes the amendment, which will go on the ballot in the August 2022 primary. AP Photo/John Hanna

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 30th day of May, 2023.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: Abortion and the future of the Democratic party. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, Americans have seen the darker side of pro-abortion extremism.

KRISTEN DAY: So definitely, the pro choice side has become a lot more hostile. You see them attacking churches and pregnancy centers. You know, if if abortion is not safe, you're not either.

REICHARD: That’s Kristen Day, the executive director of a pro-life nonprofit in the nation’s capital. She represents a segment of the pro-life movement that’s so small it is nearly extinct: Pro-life Democrats. She says Democratic Party leadership has made it clear pro-lifers aren’t welcome.

DAY: They're becoming a lot less tolerant toward pro-life, people in the party, and it's become worse instead of better. You know, we talked about being an inclusive Big Tent party. We're really not. It's only a big, inclusive for issues that people agree with. And if you don't agree, then you you should leave is what the message is being sent.

EICHER: Surveys that measure Americans’ views on abortion show a majority support at least some protections for the unborn. A Marist poll taken in April found that two in three Americans want robust protections. They want laws that protect babies from abortion after the first trimester or sooner.

The Biden administration, however, says it wants to secure so-called “reproductive rights” for all.

KAMALA HARRIS: So know this: President Biden and I agree, and we will never back down. We will not back down. [Applause.] And we know — we know this fight will not be won until we secure this right for every American.

REICHARD: Vice President Kamala Harris, throwing down the gauntlet for the pro-abortion movement during a speech in Tallahassee, Florida, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this year.

In contrast, Day’s group, Democrats for Life of America, wants to amplify voices from within the party to counter pro-abortion extremism.

DAY: We have Democrats still in states that will vote pro life. And so we do work with the pro life Democrats in the States. In Kansas, we had four override the governor's veto on the pro life to advance the pro life issue there.

EICHER: Day here is referring to two new laws in Kansas—one protecting babies born alive after abortion and another requiring abortionists to tell clients about abortion pill reversal. The Kansas legislature overrode the governor’s veto of both bills with the help of four Democratic votes.

DAY: So I think there are there are Democrats, I just there's so many that agree with us that just are afraid to come out because they're afraid of the backlash.

REICHARD: But that hasn’t always been the case. Democrats were leaders early in the pro-life movement. Nellie Gray founded the March for Life in 1974. She was a liberal Democrat who lobbied Congress to pass a law overturning Roe v. Wade. In the late 1990s, Day worked for Democratic Congressman Jim Barsha of Michigan. He was the co-chair of the Pro-Life Caucus.

Now, Democrats for Life is supporting the pro-life position in state-level ballot initiatives. The group also promotes legislation that helps mothers who choose life.

DAY: And that is who we are, Democrats are supposed to be, we're supposed to be between being to protect the vulnerable. And instead of pushing abortion, we should be providing resources, and making sure that they have a choice when we're the pro choice party. But we're not where we become a pro abortion party. And just pushing that as the as the only option. And basically, I think the message is if you have resources, you have a choice, if you don't have abortion, and that, to me is not consistent with democratic values at all.

EICHER: Day also told us that Democrats for Life would support a federal law protecting the unborn, if it also included increased support for mothers.

DAY: And I see the pro life groups are really expanding their mission to, they've always been very supportive of pregnancy resource centers in but now looking at more legislation to actually provide the assistance to the pregnant woman once the child is born to. So it's exciting to see this expansion. And again, I think the Democratic Party is going to be left behind if they don't, you know, start moving away from this abortion extremism that they're pushing.

REICHARD: For now, the majority of the Democratic Party is full-steam ahead on proliferating abortion policies without much concern for the collateral damage of its small, but active, pro-life niche.

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