A Small Tent Party: Why Is the Democratic Party Pushing Out Over 20 Million Voters?

11001604_885833014770370_532541576846082198_ovia Michael O’Loughlin:

The draft (of the Democratic Party platform), which will be voted on later this month at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, echoes calls from presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to overturn the so-called Hyde Amendment. The rule, first introduced in 1976 by Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, a Catholic, bars Medicaid from funding most abortions.

“We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment,” the draft reads.

The draft platform also calls for an end to the Helms Amendment, which prohibits U.S. foreign aid from being used to fund abortions.

Some Catholic leaders active in Democratic politics reacted to the change with dismay.

“The platform is less welcoming to pro-life Democrats and Catholic progressives than the platforms in 2008 and 2012,” Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America and a co-chair of the group Catholics for Obama, tweeted Monday.

Sister Simone Campbell, head of NETWORK and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic Convention, called the abortion proposal “a political mistake and a policy mistake.”…

Christopher Hale, head of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, called the language a “disservice” to Democrats who disagree about life issues, invoking Vice President Biden’s call to make the party “a big tent.”

The platform, Hale said, “belittles the 21 million Americans who proudly identify as Democrats but disagree with the party’s stance on beginning and end-of-life issues. The party should listen to Joe Biden and ensure pro-life Americans are welcomed in the Democratic Party.”