From Eva Ritchey, president of North Carolina Pro-Life Democrats:
In view of the “Welcome y’all” being spread thick in the Charlotte area by the Democratic Party, the question needs to be asked, “Will pro-life Democrats be welcome in Charlotte too?”
That is questionable given that every suggestion Democrats for Life of America presented to the National Democratic Party Platform Committee in Detroit was ignored. We were invited to make our first-ever presentation, but you would think we were never there.
The 18 members of the National Platform Committee barely reflected main street Democrats. There were no members from the South (except Florida) and the pro-choice organization NARAL was accorded a seat while no one on the committee represented the pro-life point of view.
Democrats coming to Charlotte might want to take North Carolina as a cautionary tale. Here pro-life Democrats were ignored and marginalized while so called “progressive” social policies were adopted and extolled. Given the outcome of our last statewide election, it is safe to say that those policies did not reflect the values of many rank and file Democrats or the majority of North Carolinians.
Here are a few values held by Democrats that would probably surprise party leaders:
• 61 percent of Democrats support parental consent for minors seeking an abortion
• 60 percent of Democrats support a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion
• 49 percent of Democrats support an ultrasound requirement
• 59 percent of Democrats support a ban on partial-birth abortions
How did the leadership of the Democratic Party get out of step with its own members on the “life” issue? Why is the leadership working so hard to disenfranchise 21 million Democratic pro-life voters?
National Democrats are going down the same bad path that led N.C. Democrats to defeat.
In 1978 there were 125 pro-life Democrats out of the 292-seat majority in the U.S. House. Increasingly pro-life candidates were rejected within the Democratic Party, causing many of the pro-life Democratic districts to elect Republicans. In fact the number of pro-choice Democrats in the House has essentially remained around 167. However the number of pro-life Democrats has decreased from 125 to only 17.
Kristen Day, National Director for Democrats for Life assessed the situation accurately: “If we are going to increase our members and win the majority we must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the issue of abortion. We must also run and support candidates that reflect the values of the districts.” Nowhere is that truer than in states like North Carolina.
Refusing to go into Time Out, we will be holding a panel discussion Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Charlotte to discuss the dilemma faced by pro-life Democrats. Among the panelists are former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak and former U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper. The moderator will be Melinda Henneberger, founder of Politics Daily and a Washington Post columnist. The title of the program is quite appropriate: “Can You Be Pro-Life in a Pro-Choice Party?”
November’s outcome may depend on the answer.