Why an Abortion Litmus Test Hurts the Democratic Party

A number of recent articles explain why alienating and denying representation to the over 20 million pro-life Democrats in the Democratic Party is a mistake:

Why won’t Democrats let antiabortion progressives under their tent? by Christine Emba: “Democrats, and progressives more broadly, should be welcoming such people rather than disdaining them. Assuming bad faith on the part of anyone who opposes or is even willing to accept limits on abortion rights makes it too easy for the left to embrace a narrow perspective when deciding how best to pursue progressive goals.”

Abortion litmus test: Democrats slide back into culture-war politics by Michael Sean Winters: “Democrats lost the White House precisely because the smart people in the Beltway and in Brooklyn forgot that many people outside those precincts do not think the way they do. For many of us, abortion is an infamy, as the Second Vatican Council stated. We are not anti-women. We are not unsympathetic to the plight of women facing a crisis pregnancy.”

Democrats employ a strange strategy of reductionism by Matt Wittenbrook: “As a Free Methodist pastor in rural New York, I am proud of the role my church played in the abolition of slavery. I want to belong to the party of the underdog, the poor and the vulnerable. And there’s no one more helpless than an unborn human being. To me, that seems like a real Democrat. Democratic leaders have abandoned the party. If they want to become the Abortion Party, they can do that. But we real Democrats will not be bullied. We aren’t going anywhere.”

What Democrats Can Learn from Louisiana (No, Really) by Christopher Hooks: “In the aftermath of Trump’s election, many Democrats want to rebuild the party at the local level. This is admirable and right. But many who strongly advocate this view have a very specific idea of what a Democrat should look like, and what positions they should hold. If the goal is a truly national party, capable of achieving meaningful policy gains for a significant portion of the population, figures like Edwards have important roles to play.”

Democratic Pro-Lifers Vow to Fight Party’s Pro-Abortion Edict by Peter Jesserer Smith: “Perez’s line in the sand on abortion, however, has galvanized pro-life Democrats to fight to take back the party after watching its leadership over the course of 25 years disenfranchise their voice at the national convention and turn the platform more extreme on abortion, plank by plank.”

Pro-life Democrats see abortion rights litmus test as political suicide in middle America by  Bradford Richardson: “The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers, director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, said Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas E. Perez and other party higher-ups are committing political suicide by demanding ideological purity when it comes to abortion.”

Dwindling: pro-life Dems & pro-choice party’s fate by David Roach: “Russell Moore, president of Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press “the protection of the unborn is too important to be a one-party issue.” “The marginalization of pro-life Democrats is bad news for the Democratic Party, but even more, is bad news for the country, for women and for the unborn,” Moore said. “I pray for the day when both parties are committed to protecting the most vulnerable, including the unborn and their mothers, and are arguing with each other over economics rather than over the life and death of the innocent.””