Why a Pro-life Democrat Should Run in 2020

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Jacob Lupfer writes:

No candidate who favors ending abortion in the U.S. can win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Party leaders are more stridently supportive of unrestricted abortion rights than they have ever been.

Abortion-rights activists exert unprecedented power over the party, and as a result even abortion-skeptical Democrats have been decimated over the past generation. Fewer than a handful of anti-abortion Democrats remain in Congress, and the party signals its disdain for candidates like them at every turn, forcing any Democrat who dares present a nuanced position to repudiate the heresy….

But the best argument for a Democrat pro-lifer is rather a statistical one: About a quarter of Democrats believe abortion should be generally illegal, according to Gallup. Nonwhite Democrats, a group that is already rumbling about being taken for granted, are more opposed to legal abortion than white Democrats. The presence of a pro-life Democrat in the 2020 race would give voice to these 21 million disaffected Democrats…

Not to be overlooked, however, is Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana. A Catholic Southerner…Edwards ran an ad in his 2016 campaign about his family’s decision not to abort after their daughter was diagnosed with spina bifida in the womb…

Edwards, or former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, another pro-life Democrat from a conservative state, could capitalize on the disgust — evident in the election of our current outsider president — that Americans feel toward both parties, not least the stale abortion politics that benefits only party bosses and politicians….

A pro-life Democratic candidate would instead unify religious people, overwhelming Democrats who affirm abortion on demand as an article of faith and churchgoing Republicans who want to criminalize abortion but are apparently untroubled by policies that demonize and harm vulnerable people throughout American society. Faith leaders on both sides squander their credibility and integrity at election time as they contort their holy texts and social teachings to line up with 100 percent of their party’s platform….

Indeed, a broad theological consensus exists, articulated most thoughtfully in Catholic social teaching but present in most streams of religious thought, that politics should uphold the dignity of all people, affirm the sanctity of life and prioritize concern for the most vulnerable people.

The party that offers a coherent ethic reflecting these values would capture a majority and do right by all Americans — born and unborn.