Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, rebuked Representative Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Twitter this week for his recent interview published Monday in The Hill, in which Lujan said there was no abortion “litmus test” on the issue of abortion.
Lujan said the Democratic Party would not be withholding funding from pro-life Democrats.
Richards, the daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards, strongly disagreed with that position. In a series of tweets, Richards took Lujan to task. “Women’s health & rights are non-negotiable — incl. access to safe, legal abortion. We’ll hold any politician who says otherwise accountable. Trading away women’s health and rights will just alienate one of the most powerful political forces in this country. Access to safe, legal abortion is central to women’s economic empowerment and bodily autonomy.”
In 2013, when Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) attempted to link Democrats to Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist who was convicted of murder, he was roundly criticized.
Stockman said at the time, “Despite the blood-soaked horror of Gosnell’s clinic, Democrats refuse to loosen their embrace of unrestricted, unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Democrats do not want abortion to be safe or rare. Democrats oppose even the most basic of health and safety standards for abortion mills. Democrats don’t care how many women are maimed, infected with diseases or die on the routinely-filthy abortion mills. Democrats worship abortion with the same fervor the Canaanites worshipped Molech.”
Molech was regarded as a pagan deity in the ancient Middle East that demanded infant sacrifice.
While many Democrats took offense at Stockman’s tough words at the time, Richards and her organization, Planned Parenthood, do appear to regard support for abortion on demand as a litmus test for any political office holder or candidate, Democrat or Republican.
Richards insisted in another of her tweets that support for abortion on demand was a winning political issue. “Most of America agrees,” Richards tweeted. “Seven of 10 Americans support Roe v. Wade. Access to abortion has more support than any political party in the country.”
Not all Democrats agree with Richards’ unrelenting support for abortion. Democrats for Life believes there are more than 23 million Democrats in the United States who are pro-life. Pew Research polling supports their assertion. They found that 28 percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in most, or even all cases. Marist/KofC polling found similar results.
This is not the first time that the issue of whether a person can be a good Democrat, and be pro-life has come up. For example, a mayoral race this year in Omaha, Nebraska, touched off a fierce debate within the national Democratic Party. Their candidate, Heath Mello, had supported a tepid pro-life bill in the past, which caused Thomas Perez, the national chairman of the Democratic Party, to denounce him as unacceptable as a candidate of the Democratic Party. “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choice about her body and her health,” Perez said in April. In language strikingly similar to the sentiments espoused by Richards, Perez said, “That is non-negotiable and should not be changed city by city or state by state.”
Amazingly, all the bill that Mello supported would do is require doctors by law to inform women where they can receive ultrasounds before obtaining abortion — not even that women would have to actually receive an ultrasound first, but to just know where they can receive one. Apparently, even giving women the option of receiving information that might cause them to reject abortion is “non-negotiable” for the leader of the national Democratic Party. So much for being “pro-choice” on abortion.
And Perez was considered the more “moderate” choice for national chair over his chief opponent, Congressman Keith Ellison.
Perez even went so far as to say that he “fundamentally disagrees with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health.” One might recall that pro-abortion politicians, Democrat or Republican, have routinely claimed that they “personally oppose” abortion, but simply believe women should have the freedom to choose abortion. However, Perez seems to go even further, even rejecting the right of a politician to have “personal” beliefs against the practice.
For now, it appears that Richards’ unyielding position on abortion is the mainstream of the Democratic Party. The last time the Democrats nominated a candidate for president or vice-president who was pro-life was in 1972, when Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was picked to run with pro-choice George McGovern.
It is unthinkable that a genuinely pro-life Democrat could even be seriously considered for the national ticket today. Planned Parenthood and its support for abortion on demand appears to be the litmus test for the Democratic Party for the near future.